The Kent Hotel. The Duke of Wellington. Lakeside Village Tavern. The Seabreeze Hotel.
These hotels, all owned by Hunt Hospitality, have worked together over the past year to help raise more than $100,000 for the 2019 NSW Variety Bash, which provides funding and assistance for children and families experiencing illness and hardship throughout rural NSW.
Hunt Hospitality owner Stephen Hunt, a long-time supporter of Variety- the Children's Charity, said while the hospitality company has been raising money for Variety for the past 10 years, this year has been a stand-out success thanks to individual hotel operators and staff, and local patrons.
"The amount of locals and visitors who contributed to the different raffles and fundraisers held in our venues was outstanding," he said.
"Seeing a patron who is not rolling in it, put $10 in a tin is what makes pubs great, and to have these people in our venues every day is an honour."
"Seeing a patron who is not rolling in it, put $10 in a tin is what makes pubs great, and to have these people in our venues every day is an honour..."
While each hotel held a number of different fundraisers over the past year, Stephen said the most popular by far was Tinny for a Tinny - an initiative that provided an opportunity to win a Tinny boat full of cans of beer, or tinnies.
"This ran across all our venues simultaneously and patrons bought raffle tickets for the chance to win an outdoor boat full of Tooheys beers," Stephen said.
"It was awesome. The winner Nathan, a local patron at Lakeside Village Tavern Raymond Terrace, nearly had a heart attack and thought we were joking when we rang him, but it was great and the patrons really enjoyed it."
Stephen will join the NSW Variety Bash, which leaves Newcastle on Sunday, 19 May from Foreshore Park before travelling through Bomaderry, Canberra, Wagga Wagga, West Wyalong, Gouburn and St Marys providing funding and support to a number of rural schools and families.
The Newcastle hotel industry has enjoyed a long-time partnership with Variety and the Variety Bash.
The Australian Hotels Association - Newcastle Hunter continues to be the Major Sponsor of the NSW Variety Bash with a number of local hoteliers participating in, and raising money for, the event.
The Australian Hotels Association - Newcastle Hunter continues to be the Major Sponsor of the NSW Variety Bash with a number of local hoteliers participating in, and raising money for, the event...
"For those of us who are able to give back to families and communities in need, seeing the smiling faces of the kids in the small rural towns when they see the cars and are given a computer to use at school is priceless," Stephen said.
"They are not selfish kids and their gratitude is tear jerking. The ability to make a difference to those less fortunate is a duty for those of us lucky enough to be able to do so, and it's a big reminder to me personally to be thank full for what I have."
The NSW Variety Bash will leave from Foreshore Park, Newcastle at 11am on Sunday, 19 May.