UOW cafe brings a healthy return

A University of Wollongong cafe owner has raised more than $10,000 for medical research with a makeshift fruit stand run on the honesty system.

It has been a year since Vito Rizzo set up the fruit stand in his cafe, Panizzi, along with a glass jar encouraging coin donations.

Contents from the jar will be confirmed next week, but the sum is believed to be at least $10,000, which will be donated to UOW's Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute.

Mr Rizzo, who is also part-owner of Panorama House and Wollongong's Harbourfront Restaurant, estimates he spent about $6000 to $8000 on the fruit. He said he wanted to give something back after more than 30 years in business.

"We all know that students don't have a lot of spare cash. I thought this would be a great way of helping them maintain their health while also giving them the opportunity to support a good cause."

Occasionally, a contributor to the jar would throw in a $10 note. Other times, the fee was as small as 5¢, or nothing at all.

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