The Leukaemia Foundation has revealed that Pepper Money’s Australia and New Zealand CEO Mario Rehayem raised more for the group than any other individual fundraiser with his 2020 efforts.
Rehayem smashed past his initial fundraising goal, ultimately contributing nearly $40,000 to the cause.
The efforts of Rehayem and other top fundraisers were praised by Leukaemia Foundation general manager of supporters, Rachael Lance.
“We know that blood cancer is a significant problem in Australia. It doesn’t discriminate, it can develop in anyone, of any age, in any territory and at any time. Unlike other cancers, there are no screening programs available and no way to prevent a blood cancer through lifestyle change,” she said.
“Money raised through World’s Greatest Shave is critical to ensure that Australians diagnosed with this deadly set of diseases can gain the access they need to the best treatment, supportive care and trusted relevant information, regardless of where they live in Australia.
“All of these heroes should be immensely proud of their mammoth fundraising achievement knowing the profound impact their bold, brave show of kindness will have on families facing a blood cancer diagnosis.”
Rehayem attributed his motivation to get involved with the group to the fact “there isn’t anyone I know who hasn’t been impacted by some form of cancer.”
“It’s touched a couple of our workers recently as well, which is probably my main reason for doing this. It’s just such a good cause,” he added.
Australian Finance Group (AFG), NextGen.Net, and Better Mortgage Management were among the companies within the industry to financially support Rehayem. On an individual level, Aussie CEO James Symond and NAB’s Bill Constantinidis also gave of their own funds.
The World's Greatest Shave is the Leukaemia Foundation’s primary fundraising campaign and has taken on even more significance this year as the group braces for a shortfall in funding, with a number of community events having been compromised or cancelled due to COVID-19.
"The reality is our organisation is relying now more than ever on the generosity of our brave World's Greatest Shave heroes so that together, we can continue to work towards achieving our goal to see zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035, and we deeply appreciate any support through this time to continue delivering vital services,” Lance said.
“Thank you to everyone who has already taken part and is continuing to participate in World’s Greatest Shave for your support and generosity. Your brave acts of shaving, cutting and colouring your hair make a significant difference to Australian men, women and children living with blood cancer.”