First ever Cherry Queen crowned as WA’s most valuable cherries go under the hammer

First ever Cherry Queen crowned as WA’s most valuable cherries go under the hammer

First WA cherries of the season raise $120,000 for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation at 2023 Cherry Auction

Perth’s annual charity Cherry Auction sparked a bidding war amongst the state’s fruit and vegie industry titans this morning, as the first cherries of the season went under the hammer for a good cause.

An iconic WA tradition now in its 31st 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 2023 Cherry Auction raised $120,000 with a total 21kg of cherries donated by cherry growers from WA’s South West. The 5kg prize box of cherries from Donnybrook’s Sweet Cherry Valley sold for a whopping $75,000.

Linh Truong of All States Farms was crowned the event’s first ever Cherry Queen, taking the crown from 2022 Cherry King, Frankie Galati, CEO of Galati Group.

The winning figure was achieved thanks to a six-way joint bid by All States Farms, Galati Group, Erceg Holdings, Karragullen Cool Storage, 4 Ways Fresh Produce and M & G Monte & Son. The stunning Ceremonial Box containing the prize cherries was this year made of marri and crafted by Phil Staniford from the Donnybrook Men’s Shed.

In 2023, funds raised for PCHF at the Cherry Auction will benefit the Rare Care Centre at PCH, which coordinates research and advanced diagnostic approaches for the 63,000 WA kids with rare and undiagnosed diseases.

This year’s Cherry Auction Ambassadors, Toby (9) and Ava (10) both live with a rare disease and receive the support through the Rare Care Centre. Toby has Cockayne syndrome, a degenerative DNA repair disorder that causes rapid ageing, while Ava has a mutation on the GNAS gene that affects her growth.

Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Carrick Robinson said: “The Cherry Auction is a great way for the market community to come together and show their support for WA’s sick kids. Now in its 31st year, the auction has collectively raised more than $1.8 million, all thanks to the generosity of our local fruit and vegie industry.

“Funds raised today for PCHF will go to the Rare Care Centre, which supports diagnosis, care coordination, clinical trials and research for WA kids with rare and undiagnosed diseases, helping more kids like Toby and Ava and their families to get the support they need and deserve.”

Newly crowned Cherry Queen, Linh Truong said: “It’s a really fantastic result that we got today. Last year we came in second, so we’re thrilled to take home the crown this year, thanks to the support of the wider market community. It’s beautiful to have an event out here in the market for a good cause, where everyone comes down to support the kids.”

Market West Chief Executive Rod McPherson said: “It’s fantastic to see our first ever Cherry Queen crowned. Market West is honoured to bring together our members for this event year on year. The market community really come to the fore at this time of year, they’re always willing to dig deep and put their hands in their pockets for the kids and this year was no exception. It’s a really, really good cause that is close to their hearts, so well done to everyone who helped to achieve today’s result.”

Last year’s 5kg prize box of cherries sold for $49,000, thanks to a joint bid from Galati Group and Fernbrook Fresh.

The Cherry Auction is run and hosted by Market West and Perth Markets Group Limited and supported by the Cherry Growers Association.