ONE of the Limestone Coast's biggest fundraising events is back to support the work of ac.care in supporting vulnerable people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
The Limestone Coast Support Homeless People Luncheon will return to The Barn Palais on July 28.
A packed program of high-profile guest speakers, auctions, raffles and other activities to raise funds to support the work of ac.care is being finalised to feature on the day.
“This event traditionally sells out and attracts around 500 people to a remarkable day of fundraising, learning about homelessness in the Limestone Coast and how businesses and other stakeholders can make a difference, plus providing a great opportunity to network with people from across the region,” said event ambassador Barry Stafford, who has long been pivotal in the success of the luncheon.
Sadly, a lack of affordable housing and the rising cost of living has made the event more important than ever to help end poverty and address homelessness in the Limestone Coast.
Although sold out in 2020, the region's premiere business networking luncheon had to be postponed due to COVID-19, which caused numerous delays and finally the cancellation in 2022 ahead of its return this year.
“The event was being held every two years and steadily growing prior to COVID-19, but unfortunately two rounds of the business networking luncheon could not proceed due to the pandemic and we are thrilled to have a date set for 2023,” ac.care chief executive officer Shane Maddocks said.
“The 2018 event raised $125,000 and the cancellations of 2020 and 2022 have effectively meant we had to forego $250,000 worth of fundraising opportunities with our community, so are glad to be able to return and raise essential funding to increase our impact.”
Mr Maddocks said ac.care was grateful for the generosity of the business community’s support for the country agency, founded in Mount Gambier, to increase its impact.
But he said the rising cost of living and ongoing shortage of affordable housing in the Limestone Coast meant ac.care needed the support of the business community more than ever to support vulnerable people.
The luncheon was founded by Mr Stafford and the late Barry Maney OAM, who said at the inaugural 2012 event “we can all make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling, particularly when we come together like we have”.
“We are proud to continue this legacy and are calling on the community to once again come together for the region’s biggest business networking fundraiser and luncheon to increase the impact of ac.care, operator of the Limestone Coast Homelessness Service,” Mr Stafford said.
Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin called on people to support the significant event as a key opportunity for the community to learn about local social issues and contribute to identifying and funding solutions.
“The Limestone Coast Support Homeless People Luncheon is a remarkable event that brings together the business sector and other civic and community leaders for a day of fundraising that I know makes a significant difference, having seen the impact of ac.care’s work first-hand on many occasions,” Ms Martin said.
“I encourage people to book their tickets and attend to be part of and support this important fundraiser in Mount Gambier.”
Bookings are now available at https://bit.ly/SHPL2023
For more information call 1300 ACCARE (1300 222 273).