Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launched the Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal at lunch in Newcastle yesterday. Speaking at Wests Leagues Club, Mr Abbott said he admired the spirit of volunteers and the Salvation Army’s dedication to helping others while not being “preachy” about religion. The group also heard from Ben Moyes, 24, who outlined the help a Salvation Army program gave him when he struggled with alcoholism.

Developer Jeff McCloy from the McCloy Group donated $250,000 to the appeal. Salvation Army spokesman Major Colin Haggar said an initial tally showed nearly $400,000 was raised at the launch.

Source: Newcastle Herald, 22 May 2010