The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation [BGF] coffers are substantially fuller after a very successful fundraiser at Sothebys last Thursday night. Health minister Morris Iemma also announced that the government would devote an extra $150,000 dollars to the Foundation.

The NSW government is our principal sponsor, through the Department of Health and the Department of Housing, with whom we own BGF House, BGF director Simon Watts said.

The evening also included an auction, which raised $25,000. The items for auction included a photo session with William Yang -“ with the stipulation that the subject must pose nude -“ a dinner cooked at home by Simone Logue, a catered function aboard a yacht, and VIP tickets to next year’s Grand Prix.

Two hundred people attended the event, including the minister for Health and Kerryn Phelps, president of the AMA and BGF patron.

The Foundation also sought to promote its Friends of BGF program, based on monthly contributions. Regular giving is the cornerstone of financial support for BGF, another source said. It allows us to plan our work on the basis of a confirmed income.

There are currently 300 Friends; Watts hopes to increase this number to 400 by the end of the year. Fundraising has declined as a source of income. Our Friends are increasingly important to us, he said.

BGF helps people living with HIV/AIDS to maintain a reasonable standard of life. In 2003, BGF expects to spend around $700,000 on continued assistance with living expenses, according to director Simon Watts.

For more information on BGF, or to join the Friends program, see www.bgf.org.au.

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