Perth Spud King Tony Galati is the proud owner of the state’s most expensive cherries after he placed a bid of $100,000 for a 5kg box of cherries at the annual Market City Charity Cherry Auction on Friday 14 December.
The auction, which raised a record-breaking total of $135,450 for the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, kicked off at 7am, with Network Ten’s Tim Gossage arriving alongside Cherry Prince, Romeo and his twin sister and Cherry Princess Isabelle, together with a procession of drummers, dancers and the Foundation’s mascot, Stitches the Bear.
The heart-stopping auction saw Tony Galati go head-to-head with John Ale, from Tony Ale and Co, who bid against each other up to the winning amount of $100,000 – all of which will go to the Childhood Burns Centre of Excellence at Perth Children’s Hospital lead by Professor Fiona Wood.
The lucky Cherry Auction bidders were:
- Steve Hay, 5 Seasons Fresh – $1,000 (Strawberries)
- Rodney Dullard, Key Produce – $4,500 (Cherry Box 1)
- Shane Patching, SJ Fresh – $5,000 (Cherry Box 2)
- John Ale, Tony Ale and Co – $5,000 (Cherry Box 3)
- Steve Hay, 5 Seasons Fresh – $5,200 (Cherry Box 4)
- Basil Gotsis, Fresh Provisions – $5,500 (Cherry Box 5)
- Jordan Brindle, Canning Bridge IGA (Cherry Box 6)
- Ahmed Albirkawi, Mirrabooka Fresh – $4,250 (Cherry Box 7)
- Tony Galati, Spudshed – $100,000 (Final, 5kg Cherry Box)
Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Carrick Robinson said the annual event had raised more than $1.2 million dollars for the hospital since it began more than 25 years ago, and it was exciting to see the Cherry Auction’s growth and success.
The generosity and support of WA’s fresh produce wholesalers and retailers over close to three decades has been genuinely amazing, and has meant that the Foundation has been able to provide many more grants for specialist medical equipment and research at Perth Children’s Hospital, he said.
“As well as being our sweetest fundraiser of the year, this event is also our first pick when it comes to fun and festivity, and we are incredibly grateful to Tony Galati for placing this year’s winning bid, $100,000 will go a huge way to helping us help WA’s sick and injured kids.”
Last year’s WA Cherry Auction raised $92,723, with Cherry King John Ale forking out $45,000 for a 5kg box of fresh cherries donated by the Cherry Growers’ Association of WA.
The Market City Cherry Auction began in 1992 and is now in its 26th year thanks to the ongoing support of the Market West and Perth Markets Limited.
The significant support from WA’s fruit and vegetable community has seen more than $1,200,000 raised to help West Australians children like Romeo, who have benefited from state of the art burns equipment and research funded by Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, after suffering serious burns during an overseas holiday.
A huge thank you to Market West, and all our incredible bidders for their generous support!