Thursday, 08 Oct 2015

Queensland has a new Mango Queen - Charity auction funds helping Life Education QLD

Brooke Hodgkins has been crowned Queensland’s Mango Queen after her employer, Smart Berries, trumped the field with a $30,000 bid to buy the season’s symbolic first tray of mangoes at the annual Mango Charity Auction.

Australia’s juiciest, loudest and most colourful auction lived up to its name with a spirited bidding war at Brisbane Produce Market this morning, with several bidders competing to be crowned Mango King or Queen.

Smart Berries, from Mundubbera in the North Burnett, won the day with a final bid of $30,000 by Ms Hodgkins who was then crowned Queensland’s first Mango Queen since 2009. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will be shared between Diabetes Queensland and Life Education Queensland.

“We are very grateful for the support of Brisbane Markets, our valued partner for over a decade now. The proceeds of the Mango Auction contribute a significant amount to our fundraising efforts. Life Education is delighted to see another great result this year.

The Mango Auction is an investment in the future health and wellbeing of young Australians. With the support of the government, our corporate partners and the local community, Life Education has grown from reaching 107,000 Queensland children in 2013 to more than 160,000 children this year – ensuring another generation of Queenslanders is equipped to make safe and healthy choices," Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt summarizes.

Today’s winning bid took the total funds raised for charity to $522,000 over the past 13 years that the auction has been running at Brisbane Markets.

Brisbane Markets CEO Andrew Young said the annual Mango Charity Auction was a part of the culture at Brisbane Produce Market and was eagerly anticipated by growers, wholesalers and retailers as a fun day and great way to contribute to charity.

Robert Gray, CEO of the Australian Mango Industry Association, said many Queenslanders considered the Mango Charity Auction an annual tradition that signalled the start of the mango season in Australia and the unofficial start of Summer. 

“We can’t wait for peak season when consumers will get to taste the best mangoes in Australia, re-living old mango memories of summer fun, and creating new ones with their families and friends,” Mr Gray said.

“We’re thrilled with the result today and proud to be an ongoing partner of the Brisbane Markets and the Mango Charity Auction.”