28/06/2017 - 15:01

Felstead's $1m homeless pledge

28/06/2017 - 15:01

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Barry Felstead has set his sights on raising $1 million for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. 

Felstead's $1m homeless pledge
Barry Felstead (left), Shane Ball, Bob Bollen and Raymond Tan have taken part in the CEO Sleepout since its inception. Photo: Chris Kershaw Photography

Barry Felstead has set his sights on raising $1 million for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The Crown Resorts chief executive has participated in the annual event since it began in Western Australia in 2010, and has raised more than $600,000 in the years since, consistently ranking among the top fundraisers.

“I’d like to reach $1 million,” Mr Fesltead told Business News.

“I’m not going to change the world but the least I can do is sleep on a bit of cardboard for the night and raise some money.”

Since its inception, the WA Sleepout has secured $5.7 million in donations for the St Vincent De Paul Society WA, funding its work with the thousands of homeless people across the state.

More than 100 of the state’s business leaders spent the night outdoors at the WACA Ground on June 22, and at the time of writing had collectively raised nearly $590,000 from 2,850 donors.

Mr Felstead is on track to achieving his 2017 target of $150,000, with more than $120,000 raised so far. He is again leading the way among the WA CEOs participating in the event, as well holding second place on the national leader board.

Despite moving interstate a few years ago when he became chief executive of Crown Resorts’ Perth and Melbourne operations, Mr Felstead has returned to the WACA Ground each year for the CEO Sleepout.

“I could have done the CEO Sleepout in Melbourne but I have a history here,” he said.

Mr Felstead said just three other WA business leaders had backed the event for eight years – Tan and Tan Lawyers director Raymond Tan, Ball Point Construction managing director Shane Ball, and Benz Insulation Services managing director Bob Bollen.

“It was a real hard slog this year; people who would give me $500 are now giving me $250,” Mr Felstead said.

“It’s not just the economy, there’s a lot of more competition for people’s money.

“Charities are coming up with unique ways to do it (campaigns) and what’s different about this is; you’re personally fundraising, you do the sleepout, meet people, and become more attached to it.

“And I’ve seen who Vinnies spend the money on, they spend it well.”

Donations can still be made via the Vinnies CEO Sleepout website.

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