Generosity spills over at Mt Duneed Estate

July 31, 2021 BY

A GEELONG charity forced to cancel a major fundraising event at the last minute due to lockdown has been blown away by the incredible generosity of the venue which waived the entire $22,796 fee.

SIDS charity River’s Gift was left with no choice but to forgo its annual Ladies Day lunch which was scheduled to host more than 230 guests on July 16.

River’s Gift co-founder Alexandra Hamilton said the venue was set-up with all food, staff and refreshments ready to go and cancelling was a devastating blow after it had already been postponed in March.

This photo of Mt Duneed Estate was taken 15 minutes prior to the lockdown announcement with tables set and AV team, Total Events, on site and preparing for the 2021 Ladies Lunch, due to be held only 18 hours later.

But Mt Duneed Estate came to the rescue and offered to cover all of the costs.

Ms Hamilton said she cried when the Waurn Ponds based winery’s sales and marketing manager Christine Whelan called her and made the heartfelt pledge.

“The endless hours and energy that went into bringing this event together, only to have our feet swept from under us at the 11th hour, we were so disappointed,” she said.

“Then to have received this incredible news from Christine, I sat and cried at their sheer generosity.

“Over the years, they’ve been so supportive of our cause and have been instrumental in bringing River’s Gift to the forefront of SIDS research, education and awareness in Australia.

“This act of kindness goes above and beyond.”

Ms Hamilton and Karl Waddell established River’s Gift in 2012 following the tragic loss of their son River to SIDS 10 years ago and has since raised more than $1.5 million to fund world leading scientific research, safe sleep education and grief support.

Ms Whelan said the team at Mt Duneed Estate was proud to help such a worthy charity.

“We carefully choose the charities we want to support and select those that we connect with. River’s Gift is definitely one of those,” she said.

River was just four months old when he tragically died due to SIDS.

“We were looking forward to helping River’s Gift raise much-needed money that helps and supports so many people across the country.”

River’s Gift chairman, John Thomas, said it was an amazing gesture at a time when many businesses were doing it tough.

“It’s hard to blame them 18 months on, in this pandemic, from looking after their own survival first – but not Mt Duneed Estate,” he said. “All of us at River’s Gift thank you from the bottom of our hearts”.

Ms Hamilton said many of the ticket holders had also generously donated their ticket price.

“Now with costs covered, it means their money can be directly attributed to funding SIDS research,” she said.

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