ORGANISERS of this year's Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch fundraiser have hailed last week's function as the most successful in the event's history.
The Friday, November 22 lunch at Bendigo Stadium was the tenth anniversary of the fundraising initiative, set up to raise funds for prostate cancer research and support services.
More than $114,000 was raised on the day, with proceeds to be allocated between the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Bendigo Health and the local prostate cancer support group.
Organising committee chairman Neil Macdonald said while it was important to note how successful the day had been, it was equally important that all men continue to monitor and maintain their health, and to look out and after their mates.
"We look forward to these lunches every year and to raising money to help the PCFA, but equally, to catching up with mates and checking in on their journey."
He also thanked his fellow committee members, the event's many generous and community-minded sponsors and all those who had contributed to the event's success.
Guest speakers Mark Maclure and Barry Breen entertained the crowd of more than 400 men with tales from their football days at Carlton and St Kilda respectively, with Maclure delivering some harsh truths about his former club and its past two decades of non-delivery for its legion of fans.
Breen, forever known to St Kilda fans as the man who kicked the point that delivered the club's only premiership, back in 1966, said he also looked forward to the club's next success, and was confident the Saints would improve in 2020.
The pair were well received and combined humour, their sporting achievements and an important health message into an interchange that kept guests enthralled.
Comedian Tom Siegert, aka The Suburban Footballer, delivered a stand out performance that threatened to steal the show from his more high-profile speakers.
PCFA state manager John Strachan said Bendigo was the second community to embrace the Blokes Lunch concept, which was founded in Shepparton by the late Chris McPherson AM, and the Shepparton News.
Mr Strachan thanked organisers and all those who have attended the Bendigo lunches over the past decade, which have helped raise more than $800,000.