A NEW record has officially been broken at this year's charity pre-launch, with the Salvation Army's Red Shield Appeal luncheon on Thursday drawing in donations to spill over its highest figure to date.
"This is the best fundraiser we've had in 20 years - we've got probably 140 to 150 thousand [dollars] raised here today, which is magnificent," Westpac's senior relationship manager in agribusiness and event emcee, Tony Rodd said.
"There's very generous people here and very generous people who aren't here today, which we appreciate, and a great auction run by Tom [Campbell] - it's our best ever result."
Unable to make it in-person due to his wife contracting COVID, owner of Orange Private Hospital and The Remington, Orange Frank O'Halloran AM video linked in to the event - opening the gig's donations with a large figure, right off the bat.
"We always hear about lots of other activities going on, but nobody ever gives The Salvation Army the [true] praise that it deserves," Mr O'Halloran said.
"So, I'm so delighted to host the Red Shield luncheon and it's with great pleasure for us to make a personal donation of $120,000."
Guest speaker to follow, Zauner Construction's managing director - who is also one of the faces behind the creation of Bloomfield Private Medical Centre - Garry Zauner shared on his orphan father's journey from Austria, to rural land downunder.
"Our vision is try to make more and more people aware of what an amazing place regional Australia really is to live, what an amazing place people can bring their families up and how much we care about each other in regional Australia," Mr Zauner said.
"Because that's the essential message ... it's where we want to go and everyone here today is here because you do care."
Thanking Mr Zauner, Red Shield's Geoff Bargwanna also expressed gratitude on behalf of the Salvo's and the city.
"Frank, we really appreciate what you've done for The Salvation Army and for Orange, as well - this is a whole new community here that's been established," Mr Bargwanna said.
"This medical centre is fantastic and it's put Orange on the map. We are now the medical centre for the western region and it's really established Orange as the hub for medicine."
A testimonial speaker also addressed gig-goers with a "moving story", who had battled a 12 year drug addiction just over 21 years ago.
The now-Salvo's Captain Craig Harlum has been in the role for the past 13 years, with Lieutenant-Colonoel Miriam Gluyas saying "this is what happens when you give people a go."
"We need to be hope bringers and hope givers," she said.
"Because, given the chance, anybody can succeed - and this is what happens when you give people a go."
Auctioneer Tom Campbell, real estate stock and station agent with First National Real Estate Bowyer & Livermore in Orange, then started the event's auction with a long list of items to bid on.
Items were donated from a number of businesses, with some of the city's local donators from The Remington, Verto, Orange Helicopters and limousine services, including See Saw and Brangayne wineries.
Money from the auction tallied $8510 in donations from the event's bidders, not including personal contributions which were made at each of the tables thereafter.
The Red Shield Appeal door knock will officially start on May 29.
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