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Bank staff showcase culinary skills for Starlight

26 June 2014 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank staff across Australia will be donning their aprons, marinating their meat and whipping their egg whites from today, all in support of sick children.

Following last night's team cooking challenge on MasterChef Australia supported by Bendigo Bank, more than 190 branches and thousands more staff in head offices across the country will host barbecues, morning teas and lunches to raise funds for Starlight Children's Foundation.

Bendigo Bank's Head of Marketing and Communications, Owen Davies, said the scale of this fundraising activity was unprecedented for the Bank.

"Our Bank is well recognised for its support of communities right across Australia, providing access to funding and making a difference to the lives of thousands of people," Mr Davies said.

"But the scale of what we're doing in the Community Cooking Challenge is something else; It's bigger than what our 6,500 employees have taken part in before, working as one team to support single, important cause."

"It's an opportunity for our people to showcase their cooking skills, but it's bigger than that. It's giving sick children the experiences they deserve, to see the smiles on their faces and know that a community has been enriched because of this support," he said.

All donations support the work of Starlight Children's Foundation, with a $20 donation providing arts and crafts to a hospitalised child, while a $6,500 donation grants a child a Life Changing Starlight Wish, an experience to be remembered for life.

For nine-year-old James from Victoria, his big wish was a simple one.

"I asked Starlight for a Wii U. That's all I wanted because there are children that are sicker than me and deserve a bigger wish," he said.

"I was so spoilt I got Wii U games, an EB Games gift card, 3D movies and a Cats football jumper. It was the best day ever!"

James was diagnosed with cancer in his leg after a family tickle fight ended in James crying in pain and clutching his leg. Ten days later he started chemotherapy.

James' mother Victoria said the support of Starlight made all the difference to her child's recovery.

"Starlight brings fun, laughter and makes things bright again. They're there to lift children's spirits and give them hope and strength," she said.

To find out more about an event hosted by your local Bendigo Bank branch, visit the Bendigo Bank or tenplay.

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