The Maronites on Mission charity group raised over $118,000 at their annual gala in November.
The 10th event in as many years, the fundraiser comes as the organisation prepares to send 20 new missionaries to the Philippines in January 2024 under the spiritual guidance of Fr Maroun Kazzi to serve some of the poorest people in the province of Naga City.
Missionaries will participate in a medical and dental mission, visit schools and provide education supplies, visit slums and distribute food packs, attend psychiatric hospitals and serve lunch, and take part in building projects.
Over 400 people attended the Lemnos by Clarence House in Belmore to support the organisation, which included mayor for Canterbury-Bankstown Council, Bilal El-Hayek, deputy mayor, Rachelle Harika, and councillor, George Zakhia.
In attendance also were NSW Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Work Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis, Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure, and member for Ryde, Jordan Lane MP.
Nader Jewellers provided the major prize on the night, donating a one-carat natural yellow diamond that was raffled off between 50 people.
Established over 10 years ago, the MOM organisation is known for its charitable weekly food runs in the streets of Martin Place and Woolloomooloo, monthly home visits and hamper packages for struggling families, nursing home visits, and natural disaster relief.
It runs out of multiple Sydney churches including St Charbel’s in Punchbowl and St John the Beloved in Mt Druitt, with an additional presence in Adelaide.
In addition to the fundraiser gala, this years’ missionaries also embarked on a three-day spiritual retreat in preparation for their overseas work, spending time together in prayer and reflection on the purpose of their journey.