Some of the Northern Rivers' leading hospitality venues have come together to raise more than $10,000 for their Melbourne counterparts doing it tough.
Over a period of six weeks late last year, local businesses got on board with the Byron for Melbourne campaign, setting up tip-jars, raffles, auctions and special events to raise money for the Tip Jar Fund, which helps hospitality workers left without work, and without government assistance.
The fundraising campaign was the brainchild of local publicist Georgia Bateman, Raes at Wategos' Francesca Webster, and Harvest's Kylie Ball.
Seeing how fortunate Byron had been through the pandemic, they came up with the idea of supporting the Melbourne hospitality industry, which hasn't been so lucky.
Georgia contacted Pat Nourse at Melbourne Food and Wine to discuss ideas and charities to support. This led to the Tip Jar Fund connection, and the Byron for Melbourne campaign was born.
The $10,000 raised has been sent to Tip Jar's partner Street Smart and COVID-19 EAD, which helps many local and international hospitality workers who are still doing it especially tough.
"It's been absolutely unreal to see Byron's hospitality community pull together for the Tip Jar Fund. It's one of the reasons we love this industry so much - it's always the first to offer a helping hand," said Tip Jar Fund founder Michael Bascetta.
"We know how hard it was. How uncertain it still is, but one thing is for sure - this community shows up when it counts."
Donations to the Byron for Melbourne can still be made via: https://donorbox.org/tipjarbyron