As the Managing Director of the Sydney Restaurant Group I wanted to give back in a way that incorporated the venues in the group. I started the restaurant group with the opening of Aqua Dining back in 2000.
In 2007, with the aid of my wife Kathleen, we started an event which is now known as the Sydney Restaurant Group Spring Series to raise money for Cancer Council New South Wales.
Each year we host events across many of our venues and offer breakfasts and lunches with delicious food, engaging guest speakers, music performances, fashion parades and live auctions.
Over the past eight years we have raised $608,000 through these events. It is great to see how much the Spring Series has grown over the years, each year the tickets sell out in record time, generous sponsors donate to the cause and guests seem to have a wonderful time. The sense of community generated by these events is very warming.
I chose to donate the money to Cancer Council NSW specifically since cancer research and support are very close to my heart. When I was 27 I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer and I lost both my mother and my brother to cancer when they were both only 47 years old.
The work that Cancer Council NSW has done in the fields of cancer research, support and advocacy is astonishing, they have certainly come a long way in the past 60 years.