Hosted by Ringmaster Hamish McLachlan and Edwina Bartholomew, guests were treated to a show-stopping spectacular with performances by award-winning indie pop band Sheppard and YouTube sensation, cabaret performer Lisa Lottie.
A distinguished menu was created especially for the event by Guillaume Brahimi, Bistro Guillaume, and Kelly Jackson and Hari Unterrainer, Crown Melbourne, matched with exceptional wines. Through the support of Crown and its suppliers, The Million Dollar Lunch is delivered at no cost to the Foundation.
Kate Langbroek, Ambassador of the Children’s Cancer Foundation, introduced Heather Richardson who shared her daughter Mia’s “zest for life” throughout her treatment for Wilms tumour. Mia’s story is a testament to the importance of funding innovative childhood cancer research programs.
The Grand Auction was a roaring success with Inglis auctioneer Peter Heagney juggling his way through an amazing array of items. The Volvo Premium Raffle provided ample excitement, with the first prize winner taking home a luxury Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design.
“I am profoundly grateful to our Cornerstone Partners – Crown Resorts, AFL, Qantas, Volvo Dealers of Melbourne and CrownBet, our committee, donors, sponsors and volunteers. There is no event without them. The money raised from The Million Dollar Lunch will help save children’s lives and diminish suffering. It will ease the burden on families and hopefully bring us closer to finding a cure through research.”– Jeremy Smith, Chairman of the Children’s Cancer Foundation
A generous donation of $150,000 from the Ponting Foundation on the day brought The Million Dollar Lunch 2017 tally to an all-time record of $2,101,575. The Children’s Cancer Foundation has recently committed $8.35 million to 23 hospital and research programs through to 2023 and the funds raised from The Million Dollar Lunch will help underwrite these programs.
The Million Dollar Lunch 2017 was attended by 640 of Australia’s most influential leaders. The guest list included Children’s Cancer Foundation Patron and AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, Minister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield, Attorney General and Minister for Racing Martin Pakula, Shadow Treasurer Michael O’Brien, Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge, business leaders including Gerry Ryan OAM, Sue and Michael Gudinski AM, Radek Sali, Adem Karafili and other VIPs Todd Woodbridge OAM, Ricky Ponting AO and wife Rianna, professional boxer Danny Green, Jane Kennedy, Alex and Brendan Fevola, Anthony Callea and Tim Campbell.