On Monday 25th June, we hosted a Charity Morning Tea in the Tomago Aluminium Fire Shed to present the 2018 recipients of the ‘Out-of-Pay Donation’ Scheme with their cheques. The morning was a great success and the four charities; Our Backyard, Hunter Melanoma Foundation, OzHarvest and Charlie's Run 4 Kids all received a cheque for $10,815.

Variety, the children's charity who were last year's recipients (along with the Mark Hughes Foundation) also attended to thank us for our donation (of $21,913) and brought along a coffee cart to serve fresh coffee to the troops!

Along with fresh coffee, there was plenty of baked goodies and also some hot food to keep everyones bellies full. Simon Mitchell welcomed everyone and presented the charities with their cheques and each charity was given the opportunity to address the crowd, thank the staff for their donation and also to talk about where they plan to spend their donation. Our Backyard talked about how the money will help pay the rent for 12 months on the services that supply hot showers and a kitchen space for people and families that are homeless and sleeping in their cars. Hunter Melanoma foundation talked about how our donation will help raise awareness and to promote skin checks. OzHavest told us the money will help them to continue to distribute food to those in need and Charlie's Run 4 Kids will use the money to pay for a therapist to help kids and their families going through the trauma of childhood cancer.

Our donation to Variety last year helped pay towards a huge Christmas party in the McDonald Jones Stadium for kids in need and also a Sunshine Coach to transport kids from Newcastle Junior School in Hillsborough. Variety brought along their Sunshine coach with our Tomago Aluminium logo to show us and also five kids from the school to say a big thank you to all the staff here at Tomago.

Everyone who attended from the charities were extremely grateful to the Tomago workforce, Kylie Waddingham from Charlie’s Run 4 Kids said, “A massive thank you to all the Tomago workers who donated to us. This is our biggest donation we have ever received. Your donation will be going to the Child Therapy Department at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. This department is an integral part of a child’s treatment and teaches kids how to deal with their anxiety they have from their illness. You will be helping hundreds of kids in our local and not so local area! “

Peter Di Girolama from Our Backyard also expressed his appreciation, “On behalf of the many homeless people in our community I would like to thank the staff of Tomago Aluminium for their generous donation through their ‘Our-of-Pay Donation’ Scheme as your gift will go towards the operational costs of Our Backyard for the next 12 months.”

Wayne Pringle also spoke about the Out-of-Pay Donation’ Scheme which was started in 1986 by 3 unions. They first raised $2,000 for Cancer Council and then in 1998 the company started to match the donations. This meant that in 1998 the donations went up from $18,000 to $36,000. In fact last year we clicked over $1 million in donations from the scheme, averaging around $33,000 every year for 33 years!

This year $21,600 was donated by the workforce which the company then matched and was split between the four charities. This figure comes from 415 employees donating $1 a week. However with 900+ employees there is alway room for improvement! If you want to do something amazing and donate to the scheme, contact Wayne Pringle on Ex 9736.

At the end of the Morning Tea, the left over cakes were donated to OzHarvest and given to families in need. Pauline Arnotte from OzHarvest said, “Thanks for having us we had a great time, it was a wonderful morning.The leftovers all came back here, packaged up, picked up by the van and distributed to a Young Parents Group, Homework Centre and a Mens Boarding House.”

A huge thank you to everyone who attended the Morning Tea and to every member of staff that so generously donates every week to this scheme and allows us to continue to support some very worthy local causes.

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