Thursday, June 16, 2011



Screenshot from The Australian


The Vinnies CEO Sleepout last night raised more than $3.4 million, with more than 1,000 chief executives and leaders participating last night across the country, reports the Australian.

The effort raised about half a million dollars more for the charity than last year.Chief executives armed themselves with sleeping bags, beanies, thick woollen socks and thermal clothes to sleep rough - and had to sustain themselves with a cup of hot soup and bread roll to keep warm as they huddled in their sleeping bags to fight off the chill and rain.

The three top fundraisers were Commonwealth Bank's Ralph Norris ($113,034), News Limited's John Hartigan ($96,530) and Virgin Australia's John Borghetti ($54,163). In Darwin, the managing director of Latitude Travel, Xana Kamitsis raised $21,620.

The chief executive of Merlo Coffee, Dean Merlo, ($28,428) was Brisbane's highest.

In Adelaide, Great Southern Rail chief Tony Braxton-Smith raised $21,905. In Melbourne, Mirvac chief of development John Carfi raised $42,019 and in Perth, Burswood Entertainment boss Barry Felstead raised $45,571.

McDonald's chief executive Catriona Noble, who raised more than $11,250, said her two young children were very proud of her but were concerned about what she would be eating.

"People tend to make assumptions why people sleep rough, but anyone of us could be one or two steps away from being homeless," Ms Noble said. "The experience will make me understand and relate better to people. After all, as the Rotarians say, 'we should do less for self and more to serve'."

Nudie's James Ajaka, who raised $2045, said he was mustering up as much courage as possible to fight the bitter cold and wet weather.

"I'm doing this because there are more than 100,000 homeless people and 40 per cent of them are women and children," he said. "This cause needs as much awareness as possible."

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