The winter weather showed no signs of halting the goodwill and generosity shown by the guests, who embraced this year’s theme In Full Bloom.
Now in its 15th year, The Million Dollar Lunch is the annual fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Foundation. Funds raised will support game-changing research projects to develop better treatments for children with cancer. Since 1992, the Foundation has invested more than $52 million to fund clinical trials, clinical research, clinical care and family support.
“The Foundation is the greatest supporter of childhood cancer in Victoria and has committed $16 million in project funding over the next few years, with $14 million of this dedicated to research to lift survival rates and reduce debilitating side effects of treatment. The Million Dollar Lunch underpins this project funding.”– Jeremy Smith, Chairman, Children’s Cancer Foundation
ARIA-award winning Australian singer and songwriter Conrad Sewell took The Million Dollar Lunch centre stage to perform songs from his hit album Life, wowing the high-profile audience at the In Full Bloom themed event, hosted by Seven’s Hamish McLachlan.
Attracting 600 of Australia’s most influential leaders, the guest list included Children’s Cancer Foundation Patron and AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and wife Laura, Foundation Chairman Jeremy Smith, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula, Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford, Senator for Victoria Kimberley Kitching, Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate Raff Ciccone, Leader of the Opposition Michael O’Brien, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Jobs and Trade Mary Wooldridge, Shadow Minister for Transport David Davis, business leaders including Radek Sali, Adem Karafili, Will Deague, Crown’s Ann Peacock, together with Ricky Ponting AO and wife Rianna and Kris Smith.
Inglis auctioneer Peter Heagney delivered another successful auction encouraging guests to dig deep for families struggling with childhood cancer. Auction items included The Million Dollar Week, seven days of truly money can’t buy experiences, with auction bids totalling $859,000.
Since 2005, The Million Dollar Lunch has raised a massive $21,824,960.
Cornerstone Partners of the event included Crown Resorts, Australian Football League, BetEasy, Lexus of Blackburn and Virgin Australia. With Crown and its suppliers delivering the event at no cost to the Children’s Cancer Foundation, around 95% of funds raised will be distributed to hospitals and research institutes to ensure Australian children with cancer have access to world-class care.
Due to COVID-19, regrettably, The Million Dollar Lunch committee made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event.
To view photos from the 2019 event, visit our Facebook page.