This year, Barry Plant renamed October “Wishtober”, with each of their 80 offices making sizable donations from the commissions on every property sold throughout the month, with the Corporate Office also donating to boost the final total.
The fundraising for Wishtober culminated on November 8th with the Barry Plant inaugural “I wish to be” Gala, held at Melbourne’s Pullman Hotel, where $27,000 was raised from live and silent auctions of donated goods including holidays, fine wines, and original artworks.
Talented auctioneer, James Hatzimoisis, from Barry Plant Taylors Lakes office, conducted the auctions, ensuring maximum dollars were extracted from a generous audience. In total, the group has raised nearly $150,000 for Make-A-Wish this year.
Founded in 1985, Make-A-Wish Australia has granted over 8,000 wishes to Australian children since its inception. The “I wish to be” Gala theme was based on one of the charity’s most frequently requested wishes – the opportunity to fulfill a dream of being what the child “wishes to be”.
Many guests embraced the spirit of the event by donning costumes themed on what they wished to be, and the MC was a magician in keeping with the theme. Robyn Moore, National Patron of Make-A-Wish, captivated the audience with tales of how the granting of wishes can impact on the physical as well as mental well-being of children battling life-threatening medical conditions. Jasmine Hirschfeld, a previous wish recipient, shared her personal and emotional story.
Barry Plant CEO, Mike McCarthy, presented a cheque for funds raised to Robyn, Jasmine, and Sacha Koltun – Partnership Development Manager for Make-A-Wish. Barry Plant has always had a strong commitment to supporting the community, with franchisees pledging sponsorship to local sporting clubs, schools kindergartens and other community groups.
“We looked at ways in which we could further give back to the community at a corporate level,” said Mike McCarthy, “and late last year we formed the Barry Plant charity fund. When we explored ideas around how we could support Make-A-Wish, we developed the idea of Wishtober.”