Dr Jerry Schwartz has pledged to support Australia’s embattled farmers by donating the profits from his first night as owner of the new Four Points by Sheraton at Sydney’s Central Park.
Up to AUD$15,000 is expected to be raised for the Aussie Helpers organisation, which has been helping Australian farmers since 2002, through provision of financial support and goods, carting water and animal feed.
The Schwartz Family Company will formally purchase the Four Points hotel on 8 October from developers Frasers Property Australia, who – with Sekisui House – jointly developed the hotel on the site of the former Old Kent Brewery on Broadway. The hotel was soft-opened in August.
The Four Points by Sheraton is the only international hotel to open in Sydney in 2018, and will play an important role in alleviating Sydney’s hotel ‘drought’ by adding 297 rooms at a time when the city is desperate for new inventory.
Dr Schwartz will follow his donation to Aussie Helpers by holding a charity event at the Four Points on 18 October, when 16 charities will take over the hotel and use the rooms to raise funds for their organisations. The charities cover a range of areas including children’s medical research and care, mental health assistance and homelessness.
“I have been particularly moved by the plight of farmers in NSW and Queensland, because while they are always doing it tough, this current drought will really threaten the financial and mental wellbeing of so many families,” said Dr Schwartz.
“In contrast, hoteliers like me have benefited greatly from Sydney’s extended tourism boom. Opening the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour last year, and the Four Points this year, has enabled me to hold charity events to give back to the more needy in our community, and I am hoping that we can get a full house at the Four Points on 8 October so that we can donate as much as possible to Brian and Nerida Egan’s Aussie Helpers charity.
“They are doing an incredible job and I think if we city slickers can find ways of supporting our farmers, everyone benefits. Australia’s rural and regional areas are integral to every aspect of this country, and particularly its tourism and hospitality sector, so in many ways it is a logical connection to use a Sydney hotel opening to support our farmers.
“I have property in the Hunter Valley and the drought has significantly affected the whole of the region, but that’s nothing compared to what farmers are having to cope with in western NSW and Queensland,” he said.
Aussie Helpers co-founder, Brian Egan, thanked Dr Schwartz for his support and urged anyone planning to visit Sydney on 8 October to book into the Four Points by Sheraton, because every dollar spent on accommodation and dining would support struggling farmers.
“No one should under-estimate the severity of this drought and its long term consequences on the farming community,” said Brian Egan.
“Drought is not new, and throughout the 16 years we’ve been running Aussie Helpers, there’s never been a time when farmers somewhere haven’t needed support.
“I want to thank Dr Schwartz for reaching out. His commitment will not only raise funds for farmers who are in desperate need now, it will help focus attention on the long-term plight of farmers and the need to connect city people with their fellow Australians on the land.”
The Four Points by Sheraton is located on Broadway in the new Central Park urban regeneration area adjacent to Central Station and the University of Technology campus.