Shoalhaven Shark Tank aims to top $70,000 in 2017

Penni Wildi, Lesley Labka, Ricki Zsovar, Wendi Hobbs and Linda Marquis invite you to be a part of the Shoalhaven Shark Tank on August 2.

Penni Wildi, Lesley Labka, Ricki Zsovar, Wendi Hobbs and Linda Marquis invite you to be a part of the Shoalhaven Shark Tank on August 2.

$70,000 raised in just a few hours.

That was the financial result of last year’s Shoalhaven Shark Tank fundraiser for homelessness service providers.

Now in its third year the target, like the growing homelessness issue, has increased.

Want to be a part of the action? Here’s what you need to know.

On Wednesday August 2 at the Wesley Centre in Nowra, as part of Homelessness Prevention Week, the Shoalhaven Homelessness and Good Living Conditions Interagency will host the Shoalhaven Shark Tank from 10am to 12.30pm.

Businesses and organisations will unite in a concept borrowed from Channel Ten’s TV show, The Shark Tank.

Homelessness services pitch ideas to local business people, community groups and philanthropic ‘sharks’ who can buy into them if they are interested.

The 2016 event was attended by more than 150 people who offered more than $70,000 along with priceless offers of assistance in other ways.

Business owners want an easy way to donate to local organisations. Well this is it. - Penni Wildi

Shoalhaven Shark Tank funds are given directly to local organisations and while it helps organisations with the region’s homelessness situation the issue continues to grow.

On the last Census night there were 375 people homeless in the Shoalhaven, with an estimated 150 of these being youth.

Organisers Penni Wildi, Lesley Labka, Linda Marquis and Wendi Hobbs agreed 28 businesses and organisations being involved last year was a strong show of support, but this year they’re hoping to entice more.

“We are encouraging as many people as possible to come along and join in the excitement,” Ms Wildi said.

“Come and cheer on the local ‘sharks’ as they pull together to see what they can do to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Shoalhaven.”

She said part of the event’s success was attributed to the different panels of sharks at different pay grades.

“This allows businesses to be more comfortable about their financial commitment if they can only afford a small contribution,” Ms Wildi said.

Businesses had made it clear they were looking for easy ways to donate locally.

“Feedback from local businesses pointed out that business owners in Shoalhaven were often sponsoring overseas charities because it was easier.

“The Shark Tank can help local businesses with changing this,” Ms Wildi said.

To register business owners should phone 0409 204 516.

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