Box of Donnybrook cherries sells for $75,000 at 31st annual charity auction

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Adam PoulsenCountryman
2023 Cherry Queen Linh Truong, centre, was among five joint bidders who scooped the $75,000 winning box.
Camera Icon2023 Cherry Queen Linh Truong, centre, was among five joint bidders who scooped the $75,000 winning box. Credit: Supplied;Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation

A box of cherries grown in Donnybrook has sold for an eye-watering $75,000 at auction, with the proceeds set to benefit WA kids with rare and undiagnosed diseases.

The 31st annual Cherry Auction sparked a bidding war among WA’s fruit and vegetable industry heavyweights, with a 5kg box from Donnybrook’s Sweet Cherry Valley attracting the top price.

A total of $120,000 was raised from the sale of 21kg of the fruit donated by growers from WA’s South West.

All proceeds from the December 8 event — held at Perth Markets in Canning Vale to mark the start of cherry season — were donated to Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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Foundation chief executive Carrick Robinson said the auction had raised more than $1.8 million over the past three decades.

“Funds raised 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,” he said.

This year’s event ambassadors, Toby, 9, and Ava, 10, both live with a rare disease and receive 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.

“The funds raised will help more kids like Toby and Ava and their families to get the support they need and deserve,” Mr Robinson said.

Last year’s prize box sold for $49,000.

This year’s $75,000 top bid was raised via a joint effort from All States Farms, Galati Group, Erceg Holdings, Karragullen Cool Storage and M & G Monte & Son.

Linh Truong was crowned Cherry Queen, snatching the diadem from 2022 Cherry King and Galati Group chief executive Frankie Galati.

“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,” Ms Truong said.

“It’s beautiful to have an event out here in the market for a good cause, where everyone comes down to support the kids.”

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