WA’s most valuable cherries go under the hammer – 2022 Charity Cherry Auction
Perth’s annual Charity Cherry Auction sparked a bidding war amongst the state’s fruit and vegie industry heavyweights this morning, as the first cherries of the season went under the hammer for a good cause.
An iconic WA tradition now in its 30th year, the Cherry Auction took place at Perth Markets in Canning Vale, with all proceeds from the event donated to Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The 2022 Cherry Auction raised a record total of $140,000, with the 5kg prize box of cherries from Sweet Cherry Valley selling for a whopping $49,000. The winning bid was placed by Frankie Galati, through a powerhouse joint bid between Galati Group and Fred Fairthorne of Fernbrook Fresh.
The joint bid means that Frankie Galati has been crowned this year’s Cherry King. In total 21kg of cherries donated by cherry growers from WA’s South West were auctioned.
Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Carrick Robinson said: “Thanks to the generosity of our state’s fruit and veggie industry, the Cherry Auction has now raised more than $1.7 million for WA’s sick kids over the past three decades, which is absolutely incredible.”
In 2022, funds raised for PCHF at the Cherry Auction will benefit the Rare Care Centre, which coordinates research and advanced diagnostic approaches for the 63,000 WA kids with rare and undiagnosed diseases.
“The Rare Care Centre at Perth Children’s Hospital improves awareness and early identification of children with potential rare diseases,” Mr Robinson said.
“Additional funds for the Rare Care Centre will support more accurate diagnosis, improved care coordination and better access to community resources, clinical trials, and research for WA kids with rare and undiagnosed diseases and their families.”
With four children of his own, Frankie Galati is passionate about championing causes that focus on kid’s health. Since 2009, the Galati family have donated $293,000 to Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation via the Cherry Auction, including taking home the coveted Cherry King crown on four occasions as well as being crowned joint Cherry King in 2018, 2019 and now, 2022.
“The Cherry Auction has been going strong for 30 years now, and it’s once again been amazing to see everyone from the market community come together and dig deep to support WA kids,” Tony Galati said.
He added: “We’re also going to start to ramp up production and start growing more of our own cherries here in WA, to boost our local industry and reduce reliance on importing cherries from South Australia.”
Market West Chief Executive Rod McPherson said: “Market West is privileged to be able to coordinate and contribute to this fantastic outcome on behalf of our members, the Central Fresh Produce market traders. Our members and their customers are always strong supporters of the Charity Cherry Auction and the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation’s work for affected kids and their families.
“Despite the current social environment, today the fresh produce industry again showed their commitment to the community, digging deep for a great cause. There was a terrific vibe at the auction today and it was reflected in the bidding and the result.”
The most expensive box of cherries ever sold at the event was in 2019, when a whopping $110,000 three-way bid was placed by John Ale (Tony Ale & Co), Tony Galati (Galati Group) and Fred Fairthorne (Fernbrook Fresh).
The Cherry Auction is run and hosted by Market West and Perth Markets Group Limited and supported by the Cherry Growers Association.