Updated: Feb 7, 2018
Local hotelier comes up with loo-crative way to raise money for bowel cancer research
When Crown and Anchor hotelier Mark Chegwidden noticed that people were coming in just to use the bathrooms, he quickly decided not to the let the opportunity go to waste.
Staff at the hotel were already donating their tips to Bowel Cancer Research Foundation and Mark saw the foot traffic as an ideal way to raise more money for the cause.
‘’On a normal day we get on average 18 people come in during the day to use the toilets without making a purchase,’’ he said.
“We just figured that if we're good enough to supply water, electricity, toilet paper, hand towels and soap free of charge, then maybe they could return the favour by helping out a worthy cause.’’
The donation posters were first put up during the recent Newcastle 500 Supercars event and is so far proving successful.
“I think a lot of people actually feel bad about using the toilets without making a purchase, so it has actually been extremely well received by the public,” Mark said.
“We have a lot of people actually donating $5 and $10-dollar notes now instead of just the little bits of random change. People have also been pro-active in coming to the bar and asking where the donation box is and saying how much they love the concept.’’
Mark said he originally chose the Bowel Cancer Research Foundation as the charity because a friend he went to school with was diagnosed with it just a few years ago.
“She was 29 when she was diagnosed, and she has been battling it like a trooper and kicking its ass,’’ he said.
‘’It made me want to do something to try and help, not only financially but to raise awareness as well. When we were discussing the excessive use of the public toilets by the public, the nature of the situation and the charity we were supporting seemed to be a good fit.’’
Mark said feedback on the initiative from patrons has so far been excellent.