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Pepper CEO named fundraising ‘hero’

by Annie Kane11 minute read
Pepper CEO named fundraising ‘hero’

The Australia CEO of Pepper Money, Mario Rehayem, has raised the most money of any individual taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave, raising $37,242 for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Pepper Money’s CEO of Australia and New Zealand, Mario Rehayem, shaved his hair goodbye for the World’s Greatest Shave in March 2020. 

Mr Rehayem undertook the shave to raise awareness and funds for the charity in honour of his grandmother, who had blood cancer, and in support of several staff members who had been affected by a form of cancer. 

Industry groups such as Australian Finance Group (AFG), NextGen.Net, Better Mortgage Management and Resimac all contributed to his efforts, with Aussie CEO James Symond and NAB’s Bill Constantinidis also supporting his sponsored shave, which was live streamed from Pepper’s North Sydney office to its offices across Australia and New Zealand. 


The CEO has now been named as a fundraising “hero” by the Leukaemia Foundation after raising the largest amount of money in the individual fundraising category for the World’s Greatest Shave 2020.

In total, Mr Rehayem’s donations raised over $37,242 (more than $17,000 above his fundraising goal) for the Leukaemia Foundation’s work in fighting blood cancer and supporting those who are affected by it. 

A virtual event was held last week to honour the nation’s top fundraisers, with Mr Rehayem taking the top gong for the individual fundraiser category.

Another well-known face from industry came in second place. The former RP Data/CoreLogic International CEO and newly appointed board member of Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia, Graham Mirabito, raised a total of $35,017.

Together, the two individual fundraising efforts can provide:

  • 1,800 families with emotional support to overcome the initial shock and stress of a blood cancer diagnosis
  • six months of research laboratory costs to help more people survive blood cancer and live their best life
  • at least four regional families with one week free accommodation when they must travel long distances from home for urgently needed blood cancer treatment in a capital city.

Rachael Lance, the general manager of supporters for the Leukaemia Foundation, congratulated all the top fundraising teams and individuals for their “incredible acts of solidarity” with the 41 Australians diagnosed with blood cancer every day. 

“We know that blood cancer is a significant problem in Australia. It doesn’t discriminate, it can develop in anyone, of any age, in any territory and at any time. Unlike other cancers, there are no screening programs available and no way to prevent a blood cancer through lifestyle change,” Ms Lance said. 

“Money raised through World’s Greatest Shave is critical to ensure that Australians diagnosed with this deadly set of diseases can gain the access they need to the best treatment, supportive care and trusted relevant information, regardless of where they live in Australia. 

“All of these heroes should be immensely proud of their mammoth fundraising achievement, knowing the profound impact their bold, brave show of kindness will have on families facing a blood cancer diagnosis.” 

Ms Lance noted that COVID-19 had reduced the number of fundraising events taking place this year, meaning that the donations from the World’s Greatest Shave was therefore more important than ever.

“The reality is our organisation is relying now more than ever on the generosity of our brave World’s Greatest Shave heroes so that together, we can continue to work towards achieving our goal to see zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035, and we deeply appreciate any support through this time to continue delivering vital services,” Ms Lance said. 

[Related: Mortgage industry among top bushfire appeal donors]

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