Pepper Money renews partnership with Illawarra Hawks

Local community groups to receive grants as part of renewed agreement

Pepper Money renews partnership with Illawarra Hawks

Non-bank lender Pepper Money has announced that it has renewed its principal partnership with the Illawarra Hawks for the National Basketball League’s 2021-2022 season. To celebrate the partnership, local community groups will receive financial grants as part of a shared commitment to the Illawarra region, the lender said.

“To have Australia’s best non-bank lender, Pepper Money, recommit as our principal partner is a testament to our club and our community,” said Dorry Kordahi, Hawks co-owner and president. “Pepper Money has been on a journey with us reclaiming the club’s success and giving back to the community in meaningful ways that our fans can be proud of. We look to go one step further this season, and know Pepper Money will be with us all the way.”

“As the principal sponsor of the Illawarra Hawks, one of the things we’re proudest about is being able to help the local Illawarra community interact with the club that they love,” said Mario Rehayem, Pepper Money Australia and New Zealand CEO. “Together, and throughout our partnership, we continue to make it our mission to help create real-life differences that will positively impact the underserved in the Illawarra community. Our aim is to action our support with increased community engagement along with the development of programs that change people’s lives for the better. As part of this commitment, each of the selected community partners will receive [a] $1,000 grant on behalf of Pepper Money and the Hawks as assistance to continue their meaningful work with the underserved.”

The partnership will establish the launch of Pepper Money’s “Real Life Stories” content series, which will profile the community partners, the lender said. The series of community initiatives will be led by community engagement officer Tim Coenraad, and will include the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI), a nonprofit that supports people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.

“MCCI have choses to allocate their $1,000 grant towards developing a swimming program that teaches refugees how to swim and will ensure that [they] are able to offer this important program to others in the community,” Coenraad said.

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Also participating in the “Real Life” series is Clontarf Foundation’s Vincentia Academy, a program that aims to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men using sport as an incentive.

“The Academy [has] chosen to allocate the grant to a model student and talented sportsman who has overcome personal adversity,” Coenraad said. “The grant will help provide sporting equipment, but also to set up a savings account for when he graduates from high school.”

Coenraad said that the Disability Trust Partners will also participate in the series, “with the financial investment going towards much-needed equipment for the Jammers Basketball Program, established in 1993 for those with disability to get involved in the sport.”

Other community partners include Southern Youth and Family Services, Greenacres Employment Services, and Healthy Cities Illawarra.

“There are more community initiatives we are looking to support on the horizon as well, to once again reinforce our strong commitment to the Hawks, to their fans, to local businesses, and to the Illawarra region,” Rehayem said. “Pepper Money was built on the idea that there should be loan solutions available to people through the highes, the lows, and unexpected events that real life throws at them. This partnership allows us to demonstrate our continued focus in the Illawarra community and keeping our values aligned whilst increasing awareness of our brand across Australia and New Zealand.”

Hawks president Dorry Kordahi, coach Brian Goorjian, guard Tyler Harvey and major sponsor Pepper Money chief executive Mario Rehayem