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Docklands’ fundraising champions

03 Jul 2012

Docklands’ fundraising champions Image

Docklands doesn’t do things by halves, and so it was also when it came to fundraising for the annual Vinnies CEO Sleep Out with local CEOs Hatem Saleh and David Hall blitzing the field.

Leveraging their “home ground advantage” at Etihad Stadium, the pair were placed first and third on the fundraising scoreboard as Docklands News went to press.

Atlantic Group [V] CEO Hatem Saleh was streets ahead of the field with $33,901 to his name and MAB Corporation chief operating officer David Hall was in third place with $20,250 to his name.

Some 161 CEOs braved the cold on June 21 to sleep rough on a piece of cardboard on the Etihad Stadium concourse.  Australia-wide, the effort raised $613,541 to combat homelessness.

Mr Saleh said he was humbled by the experience.  

“It was a compelling evening and to experience the natural elements, the discomfort of sleeping on concrete and the feeling of being vulnerable really touched home,” he said.

“It was a truly remarkable effort from all of the 160 men and women that participated in the event last night and I am so proud of my team’s efforts in holding a concurrent staff sleep out in Peninsula,” he said.

“When I first decided to register, I knew it was a cause that I wanted to support given the inspiring work of St Vincent de Paul. However, it wasn’t until last night when I experienced a few of the real hardships of homelessness and heard first-hand accounts of those affected, that I realised how overwhelming the struggle must be.”

Mr Hall said the sleep-out experience had been very worthwhile, particularly the conversations and engagement that it had led to with MAB Corporation stakeholders.

“It’s hard to reconcile that in Australia ‘the lucky country’ so many people face the struggle of not having a safe place to sleep,” he said.

“I was particularly pleased with my temporary shelter I made last night with my cardboard which helped me through the night.  My most important article of clothing was my Vinnie beanie which kept me warm during the night.”

Mr Hall said there were officially 105,000 Australians who were homeless and that more than 12,000 children had no home.

“It is worth reflecting on how lucky most of us are,” he said.

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