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SA agents boost breakfast for kids charity

December 2, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Much loved legend Dawn Fraser was guest speaker – and raffle ticket selector.

South Australian travel agents have contributed a record $26,000 to KickStart for Kids, a charity dedicated to making sure disadvantaged children get a hearty breakfast before school.

More than 135 agents attended this year’s annual Adelaide Travel Lunch at the Playford Hotel. As well as door prizes, raffles and major auction items headlined by a nine night Sri Lanka land package valued at $6580, they enjoyed every moment of guest speaker Dawn Fraser’s off the cuff chat about her amazing career.

Much loved legend Dawn Fraser was guest speaker – and raffle ticket selector.

Topics ranged from her arrest after stealing a flag at the Tokyo Olympics to early days in Adelaide when she was in strife at work for showing up after training with wet hair. The laughter took a very smart about turn however when KickStart for Kids founder Ian Steel took the podium.

KickStart for Kids founder Ian Steel. Today, the organisation provides around 50,000 breakfasts.

A father of three, he spent many years mentoring young children experiencing hardship in schools. He observed many instances of poor behavior and impaired learning ability that he didn’t see in his own primary school aged children, so he decided to investigate why these differences were occurring. Ian discovered that many of the issues he had encountered were directly caused by hunger. Thousands of children were being sent to school without being given breakfast or having any food to eat during the day. In speaking with the schools, teachers and principals told Ian that hunger was having a major impact on kids’ learning ability, self-esteem and overall health. One day in 2009, he told shopkeepers at the local shopping centre stories of the children he wanted to help, then went to work. The next day, the shopkeepers contacted him and offered enough food donations for him to deliver breakfast to a school he worked with, so he loaded it into the back of his builder’s ute and took it to the school. Results were immediate.

Convenor of the Adelaide Travel Lunch is Kim Gibson, owner/manager of Helloworld Blackwood.

With food in their bellies, the kids became happier, friendlier, better able to concentrate and had a much greater ability to learn. Ian knew this was the start of something meaningful, so he founded KickStart for Kids. Today, the organisation supports over 350 South Australian Schools, provides around 50,000 breakfasts and 10,000 lunches per week and is supported by over 600 volunteers. Just to highlight the problem, he told the story of a little bloke who got his three brothers and sisters up every morning, dressed them and took them to school for breakfast. His mother, a drug addict, did not get out of bed until late afternoon. He was six years old.

Convenor of the Adelaide Travel Lunch is Kim Gibson, owner/manager of Helloworld Blackwood. The Gibsons are well known for their charity work in SA – husband John is a regular at the  SA Variety Bash that last year raised $1.76 million for kids in need.

Written by Ian McIntosh

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