CROWN Australian Resorts chief executive Barry Felstead has raised more than $700,000 as he approaches his eighth Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
Mr Felstead will be among the chief executives taking part in the event tomorrow night , which involves them sleeping rough for one night.
Since 2010, he has raised $715,000 and this year alone he has raised more than $100,000, which is the most in Australia, but he is targeting a total of $150,000 for the St Vincent de Paul Society.
Mr Felstead said the organisers tried to make the experience as authentic as possible.
“You go there and register and they give you a dinner which is a cup of soup and a roll,” he said.
“They give you two sheets of cardboard and you are allowed a sleeping bag and pillow and you find a place to sleep.
“There’s also an info session during which people who have been helped by Vinnies come in and talk to us, it’s an uplifting process.
“It could be young people or older people, they all tell stories about how they have been affected by homelessness or other issues.”
Mr Felstead said he was happy to help out, even if it meant a difficult night’s sleep.
“They play sirens and other noises on the night to simulate what it’s like but it’s only one night’s sleep, some people deal with this 365 days per year,” he said.
“It’s gone down to 2C in previous years, although its forescast for 9C this year, so it might get a bit wet.
“From my point of view, it’s nice to give back because Vinnes are tremendous.”