Christine Scalzi takes out charity cherry auction at the South Australian Produce Market raising money for Variety SA

Christine Scalzi has been crowned the 2023 cherry queen following the South Australian Produce Market’s annual cherry charity auction with a winning bid of A$60,000. 

(l-r) Pick a Local, Pick SA! campaign manager Penny Reidy with 2023 cherry queen Christine Scalzi

(l-r) Pick a Local, Pick SA! campaign manager Penny Reidy with 2023 cherry queen Christine Scalzi

To celebrate the 2023 South Australian cherry season, South Australia’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market community went head to head bidding for a 5kg box of South Australian-grown cherries to raise money for Variety SA.

Angelo Demasi, South Australian Produce Market chief executive, praised the market community for its fundraising efforts.

“It was an honour to see last year’s cherry king crown one of the South Australian Produce Market board members, Christine Scalzi of Scalzi Produce/Acqua Fillette Australia, the 2023 cherry queen,” said Demasi.

“The market community has made significant donations to charities, and we are delighted to have partnered this year with Variety SA who will receive a donation of 100 per cent of the proceeds raised from the auction.”

The winning bidder was supported by a number of sponsors including Ceravolo’s, Bache Bros, the Romeo Foundation, Mario Romaldi, Bentleys, the William Buck Foundation, the South Australian Produce Market, Radio Italiana and other silent parties who contributed to the final donation. 

Variety SA’s chair Tanya Stratton said the proceeds from the auction would make a real difference to the lives of children in need within South Australia. 

“We’re delighted to partner with the SA Produce Market as their ‘Cherrity-of-choice’ this year. We sincerely thank them and the generous bidders who will help Variety create positive impact for children who are disadvantaged or who are living with a disability in our community.” said Stratton. 

Pick a Local, Pick SA! campaign manager Penny Reidy encouraged South Australians to support growers by purchasing in season local cherries.

“The recent cooler weather, coupled with the rain, has delayed the start of the Adelaide Hills varieties however later varieties are looking great for closer to Christmas.” Reidy said.

“I encourage every South Australian household to take the opportunity to purchase a box of locally grown South Australian cherries from their independent fruit and vegetable store.” 

“Look for your local fruit and vegetable store displaying the Pick a Local Pick SA! sign to know that you are providing support to South Australian growers, wholesalers and retailers.”