A function marking the 15th anniversary of a foundation, which funds asbestos safety and awareness initiatives, was attended by nearly 2000 people and raised $1.9 million.
The Biaggio Signorelli Foundation honours the former Sicilian migrant, who arrived in Sydney with only a suitcase in 1954 and worked on the docks unloading fruit and vegetables, before buying his first fruit shop.
In 1988, Biaggio opened Mother Nature's Fruit World at Blakehurst and, six years later, he and his son Paul bought Doltone House at Sylvania Waters, which has since expanded into a group of venues.
Biaggio passed away from mesothelioma (asbestos cancer) 15 years ago.
Paul Signorelli, chairman of the Biaggio Signorelli Foundation, said they were overwhelmed by the support of the community.
"Our 15th anniversary gala night was an extremely important occasion for both the foundation and for my family," he said.
"We know just how vital the funds raised will be to reaching our goal of 0 asbestos related deaths in Australia.
"My father's final words to me were 'help save others' and our gala night proved that the foundation has such generous supporters who want to stand beside us as we make my father's dying wish a reality.
"In the past 15 years we have funded both medical research and medical treatments which has turned my father's legacy into a tangible reality."
State and federal government grants were announced at the event - $200,000 by Premier Chris Minns and $250,000 by federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Tony Burke.
Paul Signorelli said funds raised from the event would help support the formation of the Commonwealth Mesothelioma Research Network, where countries can unite to share research, treatment options, support programs and allow for better outcomes for people with asbestos-related diseases.
Other VIPs at the event included Governor Margaret Beazley, State Opposition Leader Mark Speakman and several other ministers and shadow ministers.
Performers included Jimmy Barnes and Guy Sebastian, with Richard Wilkins the MC. Mitch Tambo opened the event with Great Southern Land, while Vince Sorrenti conducted the live auction and Mark Vincent sang the National Anthem and theme song Pure Imagination.