Carrie Bickmore has revealed she’s “absolutely gutted” over the backlash she received for promoting her beanie appeal on the same night as another high-profile charity event.
The Project panelist came under fire on social media after choosing to launch her fundraiser, Beanies 4 Brain Cancer, on the same day of AFL legend Neale Daniher’s Big Freeze at The ‘G -- an event which also sells beanies, in support of research into motor neurone disease.
“I also just wanted to say a few people have been asking why we launched our campaign on the same day as Neale Daniher’s Big Freeze at the G. Honestly, it was completely unintentional,” Bickmore said at the beginning of Tuesday night’s episode of the news program.
“We were due to launch our beanies a couple of weeks ago but they didn’t arrive in time so we had to push it back a few weeks and in the business of making it all happen, and keeping our supporters happy, we didn’t take note of the fact the new date then clashed with Neale’s Freeze at the ‘G. We just wanted to finally get the beanies out to everyone and of course now I wish I had waited another few days.”
Carrie, 36, who lost her husband Greg Lange to brain cancer in 2010, went on to explain that she had spoken to Neale about the controversy.
“I spoke to Neale today, they had an incredibly successful campaign yesterday which is great news. We both pour our heart and souls into these campaigns and I have been absolutely gutted that anyone would think I would try and derail someone else’s life saving work,” she said. “I just wouldn’t. It doesn’t benefit us in any way to do that. I am just bummed that this is what is being talked about.”
WATCH: Carrie unintentionally announces the launch of her charity on the same night as the Big Freeze. Post continues...
Just before explaining how the mishap occurred, the mother-of-two told viewers there had been an overwhelming demand for the beanies -- with adult beanies already having sold out and just a few kids beanies still available for purchase.
Similarly, The Big Freeze also sold a record number of beanies and raised more than $4.5 million for motor neurone disease research.
Speaking to the incredible result, the much-loved television personality thanked all those who had contributed to the worthy appeals.
“Today we should be celebrating the fact that Australia is an incredibly generous country with the most wonderful souls who want to see an end to all forms of brain disease as much as we do,” she said. “We are all in this together. Thank you everyone for your generosity. Thanks for all your support to both foundations.”
Carrie introduced her Beanies 4 Brain Cancer initiative during her Logies acceptance speech in 2015.
In the emotional speech, the Australian-native donned a bright blue beanie and implored those watching to wear one the next day in support those suffering from brain cancer.
Since then she has become a figurehead for the cancer and has used her profile to raise awareness and crucial funds for research into treatment options for sufferers of the illness.