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ANZ Ball, jazz festival fall to coronavirus

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ANZ’s major SA fundraiser for the year has fallen victim to coronavirus, with the big bank this morning postponing its 2020 Community Ball planned to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre tomorrow night.

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The postponement coincides with the cancellation of the Generations of Jazz festival planned to be held in Mount Gambier in May. This weekend’s surf lifesaving junior and senior state titles have also been cancelled.

ANZ state general manager Brendan Rinaldi said this morning’s cancellation of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, the quarantining of would-be MC David Campbell and a number of last minute withdrawals forced the indefinite postponement.

“We’d had four or five tables pull out this morning and it was becoming a bit of trend,” Rinaldi said.

“Given we’ve still got a lot of auction items that won’t perish … wine that’s been donated to the event, gin and all of that sort of stuff can be stored for a later date.”

Last year, the ANZ Ball raised more than $226,000 for a dozen South Australian charities.

About 700 guests were due to attend tomorrow night’s event with donations from the ticket sales and auction heading to local charities including the Hutt St Centre and host charity, the Jodi Lee Foundation.

Rinaldi said perishable items such as food would be donated to charities supporting the homeless.

He said the cancellation of other major events, including the Grand Prix in Melbourne, had been the final nail in the coffin for the event.

Singer and television presenter David Campbell had originally been set to host the event but after interviewing American actor Rita Wilson – Tom Hanks’ wife – he was forced to self-isolate.

Rinaldi said they had been “working on a replacement MC” when deciding to postpone in the hope the event could be held later in the year.

“We’ve spoken with the other major sponsors … and I think we’re all in agreeance that we don’t want it to be cancelled at all, it’s not the fun thing to do, but it is the responsible thing to do for the health and safety of everyone,” he said.

Hutt St Centre development and partnerships manager Michael Francis said that without the funds from the ball the charity would have to “cut back some of our services”.

He said while “customer facing services” would not be affected the organisation would have to find ways to reduce costs.

“We understand from ANZ, who held this very successful charity ball last year, it raised about $40,000-$50,000 for each of the six major charity partners,” Francis said.

“Now there are more charity partners than that, there’s a list of the smaller ones too, but we happen to be one of the major ones. So that’s going to be a whole in our donations of about $40,000-$50,000 which is very substantial.”

Francis said the charity was among many South Australian not-for-profits who were already seeing reduced donations as a result of the summer bushfires.

“Since Christmas, we’ve seen quite a significant reduction in donations and support and it really started with the bushfires,” he said.

“There was a great need to help those people during the bushfires … we support that as an organisation and I supported that with donations but you can’t take half a billion dollars out of the community and not see it impact other charities.”

It comes as annual musical festival Generations in Jazz announced its cancellation.

A statement this morning from the festival said: “This decision taken is due to the Corona virus now declared a pandemic.

“It was made after extensive consultation with all relevant medical authorities and information available from all professional sources.”

The festival was due to be held from May 1-3. More than 6000 participants were due to participate.

InDaily is a sponsor of the ANZ Ball.

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