The Salvation Army will launch its 2007 Sydney Red Shield Appeal this month at a business lunch to be attended by 400 corporate leaders, as part of the year-round fundraising effort to finance its community programs.

General Peter Cosgrove AC MC will address attendants of the lunch, to be held at the Four Seasons Hotel on Tuesday 27 March, in addition to former Sydney lord mayor Lucy Turnbull, the newly-appointed chairwoman of the appeal committee. The event will be hosted by Channel Ten’s Ron Wilson. Director of the Sydney appeal, Major Gary Masters, said support from the corporate sector had significantly increased since Peter Gregg, Qantas chief financial officer, and Peter Lucas, Macquarie director of financial products, joined the appeal’s financial committee as chairman and deputy chairman respectively. “In the last six years, contributions from the financial division have been through the roof. Before that, the sector was lagging behind other groups,” Masters said. “I think we have the right people in the job making the financial groups aware of their responsibilities and opportunities in financing the appeal and helping the Salvation Army continue its social programs.” Former Woolworths chief executive officer, Roger Corbett, will become chairman of the appeal advisory board, replacing David Clarke, who will become non-executive chairman of Macquarie Bank on 31 March after retiring as executive chairman last month. The event is sponsored by the Ten network and supported by Westpac. For more information, contact Major Gary Masters on (02) 8878 2600.