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Friday, January 29, 2021

Couples to bid for dream wedding

They are the brains and brawn behind a live auction that encourages couples to open their hearts and wallets in the name of charity.

Newcastle-based marriage celebrants Monty King and Monty Haron will auction off an all-inclusive wedding package, valued at more than $50,000, this Valentine’s Day – Friday 14 February – at Stanley Park, Fullerton Cove.

The couple with the highest bid will get married at the historic Port Stephens-based property, circa 1897, on 11 July.

All proceeds from the auction are going to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which aims to brighten the lives of seriously ill kids by replacing pain, fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter.

Following the event, a second auction will then take place on 31 May at Adams Peak Country Estate in Broke, with the wedding date set for 13 October, to raise funds for Run DIPG – an organisation dedicated to improving outcomes for children diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

It is the deadliest form of childhood cancer, with an average survival rate of just nine months after diagnosis.Run DIPG has funded critical medical research into the illness, coordinated by Dr Matt Dun – a renowned cancer researcher at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the University of Newcastle.

Mr King said the decision to host two auctions and weddings in 2020 was born from the success of last year’s inaugural event, which raised more than $34,000 for Camp Quality.He added the two Montys opted to team up after realising the power of community over competition.

“Due to last year’s success, we thought we’d bite off a bit more this year and see if we can do it twice,” he said.

“The [Valentine’s Day auction] is going really well – we’ve got all of our vendors in place, so now it’s just about drumming up support and interest and getting people out to bid.”Mr Haron said the duo wanted to surpass last year’s efforts.

“The wedding package is worth over $55,000 as it stands, so it’s pretty similar to last year in terms of inclusions and total value, but we’re just hoping to raise a little bit more,” he said.

Doors open at 5pm on Valentine’s Day, with the auction to start at 7pm.

Email [email protected] or go to the2montys.com.au for more information.