By Andy Young
The annual Hotels Have Hearts charity dinner took place in Sydney on Tuesday, with hoteliers raising a record-breaking $600,000 for the St Vincent de Paul Society.
AHA NSW President Scott Leach addresses the Hotels Have Hearts crowd
In the 15 years the event has been running Hotels Have Hearts has raised over $3.6 million, with the funds going towards St Vincent’s services across Australia including; meals programs, crisis accommodation, family services and refuges for women and children escaping domestic violence.
The event started in 2001 having been founded by a group of generous hoteliers and is supported by the Australian Hotels Association New South Wales (AHA NSW).
Speaking at the event, AHA NSW president Scott Leach said: “Hotels Have Hearts is a statement that we care, that we are prepared to help, not because we stand to gain through publicity or notoriety but because the NSW hotel industry believes in a society where those with much will help those with little.
“The true value, and magnificent contribution, St Vincent de Paul Homeless Services provide to our city is hard to describe.
“They are the ones who reach out to those others step over, they offer these forgotten people shelter, comfort and a pathway back to society.
“I say to those in this room, every dollar you raise tonight will sustain hope in a winter of anxiety and need.”
The evening’s MC was comedian Vince Sorrenti and special guests included Governor General, Sir William Deane AC KBE, NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Lieutenant Governor of NSW Tom Bathurst AC.