Masterchef’s George Calombaris opened up his Melbourne restaurant The Press Club to the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) on Tuesday.
Calombaris became involved with the cause as his family is close to a girl that attends CPEC.
He has “personally witnessed” the progress she has made since being there, Marketing and Communications Manager at CPEC, Robyne Sommerville said.
Calombaris ran in the St.George Melbourne Marathon last year which is an important activity for raising funds for the Centre.
However Calombaris will not be participating in this year’s marathon because of his Masterchef commitments but he said he will be entering next year.
Calombaris is trying to motivate the Greek community and Masterchef followers to support the cause, Ms Sommerville said.
Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC), one of the most widely recognised centres in the world for babies and children with Cerebral Palsy, will be the official charity of the St.George Melbourne Marathon for the fourth year in a row. The funds raised from the event go directly towards the services at CPEC. CPEC is the only centre of its kind in Australia that specialises in babies and children.
Ms Sommerville said the centre has three of the world’s best specialists working there and that all of the children and babies go on to attend mainstream kindergartens and schools. Out of the 100 clients, 15 are Greek, Ms Sommerville said, adding that they usually have around 200 family members of the Greek children showing support by taking part in the fundraiser walk each year. “We all walk as a team and we have the biggest group of supporters in the children’s group,” she said.
In Australia one child is born with CP every 18 hours, making it the most common physical disability in the country, Ms Sommerville said. Children attend the CPEC day program until they are school-aged then they attend after-school programs right up until high school. They currently have one client still with them who is attending TAFE.
The St.George Melbourne Marathon is on Sunday 10th October and the 4km walk is known as CPEC’s walk as most of the people who participate are friends and families of CPEC children.