It’s been a whirlwind few months for Dubbo’s Carissa Hutton.
Since July she had been participating in the Leukaemia Foundation’s U.G.L.Y Bartender of the Year campaign and it has all paid off, when just this month she claimed the top spot in the NSW/ACT competition.
Carissa successfully raised a whopping $25,081, equivalent to 314 nights for patients and their families using the Leukaemia Foundation’s accommodation complexes.
Last week Carissa flew down to Sydney for the U.G.L.Y ceremony, where she was awarded her trophy and got the chance to meet her fellow U.G.L.Y.s.
Carissa was humbled by the support she received while fundraising.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout this amazing U.G.L.Y journey,” she said.
“I am so very proud to say that together we have raised $25,081 for the Leukaemia Foundation. This equates to almost a year’s worth of free accommodation for families, at a time when they need it the most.
“My heart is bursting with pride at the kindness I have seen during this campaign and I am so humbled by the generosity the central west has bestowed upon us and the Foundation.”
Carissa said she couldn’t have achieved her result with out the amazing support from the staff at the Milestone Hotel Dubbo and the Dubbo community.
“I am proud to be an employee of an establishment that takes pride in returning back to the community what the community gives us,” she said.
“To the amazing individuals who donated, I am sending my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you. Whether $1 or $100, people like you make this world a greater place.
“Being U.G.L.Y is a beautiful thing.”
Carissa also thanked one of the major sponsors Dubbo Buslines for their donation of $500.
Milestone Hotel Dubbo manager Shaun Patterson said he was extremely proud of Carissa.
The Milestone’s sister pub in Sydney, the Milestone Hotel Kingswood came a close second in the competition.
Mudgee’s Oriental Hotel U.G.L.Y bartender Elle Brydon came third.
Carissa also thanked the many corporate and business sponsors who helped her achieve her winning result, including, Players Paintball, Daily Liberal, Dubbo PhotoNews, Reading Cinemas Dubbo, Nicole McGuire Photography, Sainsbury Automotive, Simon Allen, Star FM Dubbo, Katie McCarthy- Mary Kay Consultant, Dubbo Buslines, Bunnings Warehouse Dubbo, Jason Fowler Painting, Macquarie Credit Union, Signvision, The Colour Copy Shop, Buninyong Butchery, West Dubbo IGA, Village Bakery Café, Country Fruit Distributors, Dubbo Turf Club, Central West Distributors, Axxis Technology, Midwest Foods, Supergas Dubbo, Hot Poppyz Florist, Kings Hall Jewellers, Langley’s Coaches, Red Earth Winery Estate, Myer Dubbo, Harvey Norman Dubbo, South Dubbo Tavern, Belinda Nugent- The Mixed Up Thermolady, Stephen Bell, Hartwigs Trucks, Russo’s Coffee Bar, SportsPower Dubbo, Gina’s Pizzas, Ruby Maine, Melben Fitness, Dubbo RSL Health Club, Nangar Gems, Bellotti’s Italian Dining, Two Doors Tapas and Wine Bar, Orana Mall Shopping Centre, Press Dubbo, Whitney’s Jewellers, Choice Home Loans, BSA Limited, Tecset and Jim's Cleaning Dubbo Central.
The campaign is now in its eight year, and this year saw 1450 bartenders raised their hand to be U.G.L.Y. - Understanding, Generous, Likeable, You.
Together all their efforts raised $1.7 million to help families overcome the disadvantage of distance after a blood cancer diagnosis.
In particular these funds will be directed towards the Foundations home-away-from-home accommodation.
Christine McMillan, general manager of NSW/ACT Leukaemia Foundation thanked Carissa for her amazing efforts.
“The sheer ambition of Carissa, who went above and beyond to support those living with blood cancer cannot go by without being acknowledged. On behalf of the Foundation and those who will be supported as a result of the fundraising efforts of Carissa, thank you” she said.
“While only one bartender can be crowned U.G.L.Y. Bartender of the Year, we thank every big-hearted bartender who has helped to raise more than $1.7 million across Australia – equivalent to more than 21,000 nights of accommodation for regional families during their treatment in the city.”