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2022-08-10 Community & Lifestyle

Record charity auction a huge win for childhood cancer research

After four years of living in the US, the Varghese family secured their dream home in a charity house auction in Officer last week. The 4-bedroom Porter Davis home built in Satterley’s Arcadia estate was part of a fundraising effort for My Room Children’s Cancer Charity.

The Home for a Cure auction attracted 19 interested parties and after a spirited online auction the hammer came down with the price at $821,000. Blesson and Reena Varghese made the final bid and with it became Melbourne home owners while making a major contribution towards the cure for childhood cancers.

The couple, whose children are four and seven, initially looked at renting, but that changed when they discovered the Home for a Cure property.

“We came across the charity home online which was within our budget and target area of Melbourne's south-east. We previously lived in [Clyde North, about 15 minutes from Officer] so we knew the area quite well. Officer and Arcadia stood out as an upcoming suburb and community,” Blesson said after the auction.

“I was really impressed with the layout of the house. It felt really spacious; no space was wasted. They’ve fit a lot into 25 squares. We arrived [back in Australia] with no furniture, so having furniture was a huge bonus. So too the landscaping.”

Blesson is referring to $160,000 worth of upgrades and inclusions that came with the home, among them high-quality fixtures, fittings and appliances from Porter Davis Homes. Adriatic Furniture has also donated $42,000 worth of home furnishings, Fleming’s has donated $15,000 worth of landscaping, Bunnings has provided $5,000 worth of outdoor furnishings and Salt & Pepper has offered  $5,000 worth of homewares. The successful bidder will also receive a 12-month subscription to The Age and a 24-month subscription to Stan.

Blesson admitted that he is someone who tends to stick to a budget but made an exception in this case.

“My wife’s a nurse and she encouraged me to find a little for the charity home. It’s a terrific cause and everyone is happy that we could make a contribution, especially my wife, Reena.”

The auction itself was just one part of a major fundraising campaign for My Room, which incorporates Channel Nine’s annual Footy Show Grand Final Eve My Room Telethon. This year the event raised more than $3.3 million dollars in donations, including an initial $600,000 pledged by Satterley and Porter Davis, plus an additional $221,000 following the auction result. The proceeds from the telethon and the auction will go to My Room to fund support for families with a child undergoing cancer treatment, medical equipment, clinical care, as well as research and clinical trials.

Jack Hoffmann, Satterley’s General Manager for Victoria and Queensland said he was thrilled with the result.

“It was a shame the auction couldn’t be conducted in person in front of the home, but the online format worked extremely well and the result is a testament to just how enticing the property and its location are. It’s easily broken the price record for charity auctions we’ve been involved with.

“A huge amount of credit needs to go to Porter Davis for building such a wonderful home and presenting it so beautifully.”

Hoffmann said he was grateful to everyone involved in making the event a success.

“This is the fourth  year in a row that Satterley has participated in Home for a Cure in partnership with My Room and Nine. We’re just as proud as we were the first time. Once again, we’ve seen an overwhelming amount of support from the tradespeople, retailers, developers and builders working as a single community to help people in need.

Shaun Patterson, General Manager Sales and Marketing at Porter Davis said he wanted to wish the Varghese family the very best.

“Thank you so much to everyone who took part in Home for a Cure in 2021. Thanks to everyone who bid and a special thanks and congratulations to Blesson and Reena - we hope you love your new Porter Davis home.

“This is a special home in a special place with a special story surrounding it. It’s been a pleasure being a part of it all.”

My Room’s CEO, Margaret Zita, said she was thrilled with the result.

“We’d like to congratulate the winning bidders, but also thank them sincerely. We’d also like to thank everyone involved in the development of the home, the auction and its promotion. Our partners - Satterley, Porter Davis, Nine and so many others - are so generous with their time, their expertise and their willingness to assist.

“The auction result is beyond our expectations and the proceeds will help the work we do and that we raise funds for. Our services help families affected by childhood cancer directly and we also contribute a large proportion of our raised money to the kind of research and trials that lead to better treatments, better therapies and a better chance at cures.”

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