Thick As Thieves have donated almost $500K to the Fred Hollows Foundation
Melbourne music touring and events agency Thick as Thieves are set to hit a milestone, celebrating seven years of raising money for the Fred Hollows Foundation to combat avoidable blindness among some of the world’s poorest people.
The agency, led by founding director Mike Toner, teamed up with the Revolver venue and other promoters/partners to run music events donating proceeds from the door, a bar percentage, artist donations and personal donation.
Toner took on an Ironman triathlon in 2015, and together with some of his team, participated twice in the Wild Women On Top Melbourne Coastrek 60km walk in 2017 and 2018 to raise more funds.
The current figure raised is $496,000 today – and expected to hit the $500,000mark by this weekend.
“Helping restore sight is one of the best gifts someone can give and Mike Toner and his wonderful Thick as Thieves team and supporters have done that thousands of times over,” said Gabi Hollows, founding director of The Fred Hollows Foundation.
“It’s absolutely amazing that they’ve raised half a million dollars for us, and we are so grateful for their ongoing support and their help to put so many smiles on people’s faces.”
The Foundation acknowledged Toner’s support in May by making him recipient of its Helping Hand Award.
It is “given annually to someone who has made a special contribution, in a voluntary capacity, to achieving Fred’s vision.”
The award features a framed hand-print of Fred’s and was bought at auction in 1992 by a young man named Christian Nott.
He tragically died in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami along with his wife, Moi Vogel.
Christian’s father Richard subsequently offered the print back to The Foundation.
Toner explained, “Our door entry is usually around $25, which is how little it costs The Foundation to restore sight in countries.
“I think that people love coming to our events, not only because they have a great time, but because they know they can effectively restore the sight of one person by simply walking through the door.
“At the beginning, we used to ask the DJs if they’d be happy to donate one evening for free to The Fred Hollows Foundation, but it’s been such a success over the years that now, the DJs get in touch to ask if they can do a gig for Fred when they’re in Australia!”
“With the support of our partners and punters, we raise money to help The Fred Hollows Foundation restore sight to people in developing countries, thereby helping to break the poverty cycle.”