It was after a meeting with ac.care early in 2011 and reading a front page article in The Border Watch that Mr Maney learned of the high number of homeless people ac.care was helping. Funds were badly needed to provide extra support for finance, health, education, accommodation, household goods and employment etc. He discussed this with Mr Barry Stafford from The Barry Maney Group, who suggested a networking lunch that could bring businesses and organisations together to network, listen to a key-note speaker and raise funds.
Since 2012, 848 local people including children have been assisted with the funds raised at the bi-annual Support Homeless People Luncheon. Businesses and the community have come together to raise over $340,000 for people who experience homelessness in the Limestone Coast.
On 13th April 2018 a sell out crowd of 500 business and community members raised $125,000 at lunch. The luncheon was again held at The Barn Palais, with key note speaker Mr Tim Guest. A video was shown of three people who had experienced homelessness and had been help by ac.care talking to three business owners who support the work of ac.care. The committee was joined by Astyn Reid from Kinship Productions.
On 8th April 2016 the luncheon was again held at The Barn Palais, with key note speaker Mr Glenn Cooper AM, Chairman and Ambassador Coopers’ Brewery. Shannon, a young woman who has experienced homelessness also spoke. The committee was increased with Di In from Di Monty Training Solutions joining.
At the 2016 luncheon 450 people attended and raised $100,000.
In 2014 another lunch was organised by the same committee, this time renamed to “Support Homeless People Luncheon”.
The interest had grown so much that the Luncheon was moved to The Barn Palais to accommodate the extra numbers. The key note speaker was Mr David Brand, Chairman and Managing Director New Forests Ltd. A young woman, Ellen, who had experienced homelessness also spoke.
Three hundred and sixty-people attended and raised $77,000.
In August 2011 Mr Maney brought together a small committee comprising Anne Hinkly-Tyler (ac.care), Barry Stafford (Director-Barry Maney Group) and Robin Reid (The Border Watch) and together this team arranged a fundraising luncheon in April 2012 titled “Help Build the Bridge”.
This inaugural event was held in the City Hall and the guest speaker was Mr Stephen Gerlach AM, Chancellor of Flinders University and Chairman of Foodbank SA.
The luncheon was a sell-out, with 162 guests attending and more than $38,000 was raised.