In Fundraising by Clyde Mooney

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Australian Venue Company (AVC) has put money where its mouth is, donating monies from meals and Dine with Heart cocktails throughout May at all its Victorian venues, in support of Sacred Heart Mission.

Amongst its charitable works, Sacred Heart Mission connects socially vulnerable people through its Dining Hall, providing hot, hearty and free meals every day to those experiencing homelessness, social isolation and disadvantage.

All last month AVC’s Victorian pubs put up $2 from every Parma or promotional Dine with Heart cocktail. Every $4 raised provides a nutritious meal for someone in the Mission’s Dining Hall.

In addition, the group and its executive chefs came together for a cocktail fundraiser last Wednesday (29 May) at the Newmarket Hotel, showcasing hero dishes from other pubs in the portfolio.

Executive chef Telina Menzies helped design the menu.

“We’re honoured to donate our time to bring to life some innovative dishes from some of our favourite venues for such a worthy cause. As chefs, we know the importance of providing nourishing food and the connections that can be made through sharing a meal, it’s what Dine with Heart is all about.”

AVC Executive Chefs

Guests paid $75 per head for tickets, with all proceeds going to Sacred Heart. Entertainment came in the form of guest speakers and roving musicians, and a fund-raiser Silent Auction for prizes (full list below) donated by AVC and an honour role of industry suppliers.

The total amount raised from the May campaign came to $46,819.14.

Paul Waterson

AVC CEO Paul Waterson told PubTIC the Mission is located near the group’s head office, and they know first-hand the great work done.

“What they do that we find special, they’ve got this large kitchen as the hub for these people to sit down and have a meal and engage with someone.

“A lot of these people are shy, or don’t want to ask questions, but when you’re sitting down with them for a meal it gives you the opportunity to say ‘How are you going mate? Are you having problems?’.

“It gives you the opportunity to help people who wouldn’t come to you and ask for help. I really like it because it’s a very unique model, in terms of helping people in that particular community.”

Waterson says community engagement and social work is increasingly on the radar of young hospitality workers, who are looking for purpose beyond simply serving drinks.

“The really good staff coming to work with you say ‘you’ve got a social licence to operate your business, what do you do to help the community?’.

“Our HR manager put it to me that more and more the staff want to have an identity and actually feel they’re helping people at the same time. She was the real driver of it.”

For more of PubTIC’s interview with Paul Waterson, see the full feature The New Deal HERE.

Silent auction prizes:

  • Signed Soccer Ball Melbourne FC (Hostplus)
  • Sydney Experience for two, including flights, accommodation + night at Kingsleys Wooolloomooloo (AVC + Ovolo Hotels)
  • Gourmet Hamper (Simon Johnson)
  • XXXX Mini Fridge with Beers (Lion Nathan)
  • Toohey’s Large Esky (Lion Nathan)
  • Limited Edition Whisky Set (Campari)
  • Backyard BBQ Experience (AVC- Harlow)
  • Hair voucher + products (Biba Hair Salons)
  • Premium Fine Wines (Crush Fine Wines)
  • Tickets to North Melbourne match + two-course meal at the Wharf Hotel (AVC + North Melbourne)
  • Tickets to Storm Rugby match + two-course meal at Imperial Bourke St (AVC + Melbourne Storm)
  • Online Quality Meat Voucher (Tip Top Butchers)