THE chief organiser of a charity lunch day last Wednesday has been left overwhelmed by the generosity of Essendon residents.
Jacquie Brown, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005, has hosted an annual fund-raising event for MS Australia for the past three years.
This year, she was amazed by the generosity of the owners of Mamma Lina's restaurant in Keilor Road who offered to host her charity lunch free.
Cafe owners Sam and Jim Agostino and Jake Ludwig catered for the 92 guests, with every cent from ticket sales going to the charity.
The cafe's 20 staff also gave their time on the day.
Mrs Brown said she hoped to raise $7000, but had so far raised more than $11,000, with donations still rolling in.
As well as the lunch, the day included a silent auction of goods donated by Moonee Valley businesses.
Mrs Brown said the success of the event and community spirit made her feel good about humanity.
"Essendon is like a little country town, it makes you feel so wonderful about your fellow man," she said.
"People came out of the woodwork to help me we this - everybody just rallied and helped me set up and I just want to say thank you to everyone involved."