Despite absolutely freezing conditions in Melbourne on Saturday, thousands stood in line as one of the country’s best restaurants hosted a bake sale to raise money for the victims of the Christchurch shootings.

Attica‘s Ben Shewry, who was born in New Zealand, recruited a string of established chefs to host Baking for Christchurch including Jo Barrett, Matt Stone, and Neil Perry. 

On the menu were hot cross buns, giant sized Vegemite scrolls with Vegemite made from scratch, and croissants from Lune.

Every cent raised goes to the Givealittle fund – a New Zealand registered charity – to support the victims and families of the terror attack that claimed 50 lives.

“Lost for words,” Shewry captioned a video of the turn out

“I’ve watched this a couple of times and it makes me cry, not in any kind of self congratulation kind of way but the kind where you feel so moved and so grateful to live in a community that has this much love and an incredible amount of goodwill and generosity.

“Our group sold over 3700 baked goods (every single piece of food we had) in 2 hours but hundreds of people who stood in the cold and the rain for hours left without tasting a single thing. Not one of them complained, all of them sent messages of support to New Zealand and almost everyone donated.

“Melbourne I know how much this support means to the Kiwi expat community in Australia and to New Zealand. We are family and I love you for it.”

Shewry also thanked every volunteer for their time, skills, “their goods and their heart.”

“I thank you. Donations are still coming in and we will post the amount we raised next week.”

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Lost for words. This is a third of the line. I’ve watched this a couple of times and it makes me cry, not in any kind of self congratulation kind of way but the kind where you feel so moved and so grateful to live in a community that has this much love and an incredible amount of goodwill and generosity. Our group sold over 3700 baked goods (every single piece of food we had) in 2 hours but hundreds of people who stood in the cold and the rain for hours left without tasting a single thing. Not one of them complained, all of them sent messages of support to New Zealand and almost everyone donated. Melbourne I know how much this support means to the Kiwi expat community in Australia and to New Zealand. We are family and I love you for it. To everyone who volunteered their time, their skills, their goods and their heart. I thank you. Donations are still coming in and we will post the amount we raised next week. ????= @moyle_david

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The bake sale also hosted a hugging booth where the always brilliant Hamish and Zoë Foster Blake were on hand.

“Like everyone, Zo and I were heartbroken at the events of a few weeks ago,” Hamish wrote on Instagram in the lead up to the event. “New Zealand and its people hold so many special memories for us. We are so proud to, in a tiny way, help our mate Ben in his quest to meet a tragedy like this with a message of love, inclusiveness, tolerance and show there is far far more good in the world than bad. And what could be better than cakes and hugs.”

At the hugging booths, people were encouraged to donate as much money as they wanted to. Those who donated 100 bucks or more also scored a “Very, Very Expensive Hug Certificate”. 

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YO MELBOURNE!! Something very special is happening on Saturday. To raise money for the victims and families affected by the Christchurch shootings, legendary Kiwi, and human, @benshewry from Attica has organised basically some of the greatest chefs not just in Melbourne but the whole damn world to have what has to be history’s most over qualified bake sale. BAKING FOR CHRISTCHURCH! All the big hitters in the food/restaurant game in Melbs are donating their time and goods to create deliciousness you’re not going to find at other bake sales. There’s also a “hugging booth” selling nothing but hugs which @zotheysay and I will be staffing from 9am-10am. Come hug us! Make any donation for a hug. BUT. People that go above and beyond and donate $100 get a signed “Very Very Expensive Hug Certificate” to show what legends they are. Like everyone, Zo and I were heartbroken at the events of a few weeks ago. NZ and it’s people hold so many special memories for us. We are so proud to, in a tiny way, help our mate Ben in his quest to meet a tragedy like this with a message of love, inclusiveness, tolerance and show there is far far more good in the world than bad. And what could be better than cakes and hugs. THE DETAILS: 9-12 Sat 30th March. (Zo and I in booth 9-10!) Attica restaurant, 74 Glen Eira Rd Ripponlea. *CASH ONLY* *BRING LOTS!* 100% of funds go to the foundation set up for victims and families of the shootings. If you can’t make it, link in the bio. Please hug me gently. And Zo too for that matter. ????

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Image: Instagram / Ben Shewry