The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal has launched in Orange with the owner of the Orange Private Hospital and Remington Hotel starting the donations with a $100,000 contribution.
Frank O'Halloran AM was a former CEO of QBE Insurance and joined the Salvation Army when he retired in 2012, and he became the chairman of the Red Shield Appeal for the Sydney CBD until 2019.
He said he joined the organisation due to the influence of his wife Rosie who was a night volunteer at Lifeline and often referred people to the Salvation Army for further assistance.
"We've had fantastic support from the community," Mr O'Halloran said.
Due to his experience and desire to be involved this year's appeal, the launch was held at Whitney's Restaurant at the Remington Hotel with about 90 Salvation Army members, business representatives, and school students who participate in the annual appeal.
Wednesday's donations raised through an auction and donations set a fundraising record for the Red Shield Appeal in Orange and early estimates are that about $134,000 was raised during the lunch.
"We are hoping to get $150,000, which will be fantastic for here, it includes our donation too," Mr O'Halloran said.
Orange and Bathurst Salvation Army officer Major Colin Young was grateful for the years of support from Orange City Bowling Club, which has hosted the launch lunch for several years before Mr O'Halloran offered to host the event this year.
He said the Salvation Army is still seeking door knockers to take part in the Red Shield appeal on Sunday May 30. Last year the appeal was run online due to COVID-19.
"It is going to be a physical door knock, we are going to get as many door knockers as we can to knock on doors and we will have static collection points at shopping centres," he said.
"Families could use it as a morning out, it's only a couple of hours."
Major Young said some people might go from house to house, raising money a day earlier. He said the money that is raised here will help local people and due to the pandemic new people are requesting assistance.
"People come asking for help, we are finding some people who have lost their jobs and no longer have job seeker and they are struggling. It's broadened our client base," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...