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A Full Mooning Raises Support for DWF

Hosted annually by The Laird Hotel, Mooning has become the stuff of legend. The cheeky fundraiser benefits Thorne Harbour’s David Williams Fund (DWF) and sees guys from across the community bare all for a worthy cause. This year’s Mooning on Friday 17 January sold out and raised around $9000 for DWF, offering financial assistance to people living with HIV.

Dean Arcuri has been at the mic for the past 8 years. He had some thoughts about why the event continues to be such a success.

“It’s a great chance to be silly, but it’s not just about getting to see some bare butts on stage and laughing along and cheering, people want to show their support for the David Williams Fund. Every year when we talk about what we are raising money for, we hear one of the biggest cheers of the evening. There’s a legacy to Mooning.”

The event cannot happen without the handful of bold souls to put themselves out there for the audience. Co-owner of the Laird, Brett Lasham, offered some insight as to how they attract a handful of volunteers every year.

“The contestants don't have to show their faces unless they win, and they all get great prizes from our generous sponsors. It's a fun and easy way to give back to the community.”

“Every year I find myself surprised by what the contestants bring to the stage,” Arcuri added.

“It’s not a requirement to do something crazy, but I love watching what they come up with – whether it is creative insertions, political protests, interactive installations or just cheeky fun.”

One of my favourite surprises was the champagne derriere – when I was poured a glass of champagne from a contestant’s behind, and I drank it. It was hilarious and gross. We had a great time surprising the crowd.

Dean Arcuri

After decades of supporting DWF, the Laird was looking at ways to increase the amount of money raised on the night.

“We decided for Mooning 2020 that it was time to raise the door fee by $5, and admittedly were a little concerned if that would have an impact on sales,” Lasham said.

“Thankfully it didn't. We sold out online as well as having guys line up for door sales on the night. We also had a great auction item on the night – a never-to-be-reprinted photograph of one of Keith Haring’s Melbourne street works from 1984.”

In addition to being the birthplace of the Victorian AIDS Action Committee (now Thorne Harbour Health) back in 1983, The Laird has a long history of supporting community organisations including Switchboard, ALGA, Living Positive Victoria, and various community sporting clubs.

While another winning backside has walked away with the 2020 title, we can rest assured that Mooning will rise again at the start of next year.

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