Mango Queen Alexandra Catalano bids $25,000 for summer’s first tray

Sam Thaiday And Mango Queen Small

Queensland has a new Queen after Alexandra Catalano (pictured above) bid $25,000 for the state's symbolic first tray of mangoes.


The 2019 Brisbane Produce Market Annual Charity Mango Auction raised more than $31,000 thanks to Mango Queen Alexandra and bidders on other items.


Alexandra's winning bid of $25,000 for the tray of mangoes was made on behalf of Yuen's Farmers Markets, Harbour Town Discount Fruit Barn and Waterford Discount Fruit Barn.


Proceeds from the day will be split between Diabetes Queensland and MND and Me, which supports people living with Motor Neurone Disease.


Alexandra said she has family members who live with diabetes and was very happy to know Diabetes Queensland is a joint-beneficiary of today's efforts.


Celebrity guest at the auction, Queensland rugby league legend Sam Thaiday, (pictured above with Alexandra) said he also has family members with the condition and that it was a huge concern in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.


"Thanks very much for your support for diabetes and your generosity today," Sam told Alexandra after the early morning auction.


The annual auction, held from 6am at Brisbane Markets in Rocklea this morning, has become a Queensland institution.


This year, a surprise mango seed squeezing competition saw Sam triumph yet again as he squeezed a mango seed from an unopened fruit metres into the crowd.


Brisbane Markets Chairman Tony Joseph said that while the Mango Auction was an important charity fundraiser, it was also a fun way to start the mango season and bring together the Brisbane Produce Market community.


"Thanks to all of our previous Mango Kings and Queens, the annual charity event has raised almost $1 million to help Queensland charities since 2002," Mr Joseph said.


Diabetes Queensland CEO Sturt Eastwood thanked Brisbane Markets for their continued backing.


"Your unwavering support of Diabetes Queensland since 2013 helps us spread the message that good, lifelong health depends in many respects on eating fresh produce every day," he told the crowd at the auction.


"In most of our many activities, we reinforce the importance of two fruit and five vegetables a day.  Your work here directly helps Queenslanders grow, buy and eat what they need to live healthier lives.  Thank you."


Sturt said just for the day, there should be a change to an age-old rhyme.


"Mangoes are an absolute powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.  


"They're an icon in the Queensland fruit and vegetable story. The rhyme should probably change to a mango a day keeps the doctor away."

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