Last Friday night, 26th October at the National Wine Centre, Potatoes South Australia held their annual industry dinner, where they also host a unique auction of new season baby potatoes. The auction was led by Mr Tony Wetherall, SA Stud Stock Manager Elders Ltd, with all proceeds benefiting Little Heroes Foundation, to help us continue to support children living with cancer.
On the night, our Founding Chairman and CEO Chris McDermott spoke to attendees (many of them members of the agricultural industry) about the work Little Heroes has done over the past 22 years, referring to few recent tragic examples of why our projects and services are so important for families in SA.
The auction resulted in a final bid of $13,000 by Thomas Foods International - a new record. However, it didn't end there.
Mr Paul White, GM Zerella Fresh approached the stage and spoke passionately about our Little Hero Ivy, who happened to be a family member, and whose story Chris had touched on earlier in the night. Quite spontaneously, The Mitolo Group and Zerella Fresh matched the generous bid of Thomas Foods and an amazing $39,000 was raised. As you can imagine, the initial gesture and events that followed had many in the audience in tears.
In addition to the baby potatoes, iron sculptures crafted by Rod and Ty Manning, were auctioned, providing just over an additional $6,000, meaning the event raised over $45,000, exceeding all expectations.
“The night left me speechless and the generosity of the Potato Industry never ceases to amaze said Chris McDermott.
"It was great to see competitors unite on the night to contribute such a big sum to South Australian children and their families who are facing very difficult times. Potatoes South Australia CEO Ms Robbie Davis has helped create this outstanding event and its growth in such a short time has been remarkable. Little Heroes is honoured to be beneficiary once again and we can’t wait until next year.”
Ms Robbie Davis, CEO of Potatoes South Australia Incorporated, the peak industry body was equally excited and humbled by the generosity on display.
“It was wonderful to see such united, collaborative support for the most significant sector of horticulture at both a state and national level, and for our Charity, the Little Heroes Foundation.”
Ms Davis also thanked returning Dinner Sponsor; Westpac Agribusiness and other corporate partners, Elders Ltd, Peats Soils and Garden Supplies, TriCal Australia and Prime Super. The wine was generously donated by Hazy Blur Wines and Mitolo Wines.
The Dinner Menu cleverly created by the National Wine Centre’s Chef de Cuisine Steve Clark, featured a Roaming Entrée of canapes (many including specific potato varieties) and a Cheese Station of South Australian produce.
From the team at Little Heroes Foundation, we would like to say a big thank you to all who contributed to this year's Potato Dinner. This is the 6th auction Potatoes South Australia have held for Little Heroes Foundation, with the total funds raised nearing $100,000, including:
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