A record 125 South Australian chief executives, including Airmaster State Manager for SA, John Meijer braved the weather on 29 June, raising more than $600,000 for the state’s most vulnerable as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleep Out.
This year John, pictured above with the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le, was part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
“I was honoured to be a part of the event and raise much needed funds to South Australia’s most vulnerable” he said.
Vinnies SA CEO David Wark said he was humbled by the support and commitment of SA’s corporate leaders — “who have dedicated enormous time and effort to raise funds for the food, clothing, shelter, counselling and emergency funds Vinnies provides South Australia’s most vulnerable”.
BankSA chief executive Nick Reade was again the highest fundraiser in Adelaide and the nation, after raising more than $160,000 with his team.
“Every night 6,000 South Australians are living without homes, 937 of whom are children,” he said.
“As a father and a passionate South Australian, I am proud to be involved in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout,” said Mr Reade.
The event was hosted by singer Kate Ceberano, who said the night was an essential part of being able to keep food, clothing and shelter available for those in need.
“The fact we have so many people in Australia who are homeless or sleeping rough in their cars, or going from couch to couch, is heartbreaking,” she said.
“The commitment of these people to raising money to support Vinnies’ work is admirable and I’ve been fortunate to meet many of them tonight.”
A donated second-hand Ford was also presented to a woman assisted by Vinnies, after she’d had a difficult time escaping domestic violence, dealing with severe illness and establishing a new life for her family.
Fundraising for South Australians in need will continue until the end of July, by which time Vinnies hopes to meet their goal of $630,000.
Money raised will support about 50,000 people helped each year through Vinnies home visit program, the Fred’s Van services that provide 40,000 meals annually, and a 47-bed men’s shelter in Adelaide.
*Sections of this article originally appeared in The Advertiser.