Sydney’s biggest ever fund-raising dinner raised more than $1 million to combat asbestos-related cancer in memory of the founder of the Doltone House group of function centres.
More than 2500 people attended the gala occasion to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Biaggio Signorelli from mesothelioma.
The Biaggio Signorelli Asbestos Foundation event brought together political, business, medical research and community organisation leaders.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and State Opposition Leader Luke Foley were among many MPs at the function held at Doltone House, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh.
Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Vince Sorrenti co-hosted the evening at which Mark Vincent and Marina Prior performed.
Biaggio Signorelli and his son Paul bought Doltone House at Sylvania Waters in 1994 and the family business now has six venues throughout Sydney.
Prior to moving into hospitality, Biaggio Signorelli owned fruit shops, including Mother Nature’s Fruit World, a complex of eight food shops on the corner of Princes Highway and James Street, Blakehurst.
Chairman of the asbestos foundation Paul Signorelli said its directors and his family were overwhelmed by the support of the community.
“We have witnessed first-hand what a truly devastating disease mesothelioma is,” he said.
“My father’s final words to me were ‘help save others.’ ”
“I am extremely proud to say that we have spent the past 10 years doing just that – funding both medical research and medical treatments.”
Mr Signorelli said a new campaign, named Lives Over Levies, had been launched during the dinner.
“We are calling on all relevant stakeholders to come together and address affordability issues associated with the safe and legal disposal of asbestos,” he said.
“Asbestos safety remains a huge issue within our communities.
“The cost of safely and legally disposing of asbestos contaminated waste can be prohibitively expensive for many.
“This issue is linked to the rise of illegal dumping and the unsafe handling of asbestos across NSW.
“The campaign Lives Over Levies is about starting a discussion about how we can make our communities safer and stop mesothelioma from taking so many lives.
“It’s vitally important that we educate the community about the dangers of asbestos, as well as make safe and legal disposal affordable and accessible for all.”