16 September 2022

La Piccola to auction off Brazilian soccer star-signed ball in Griffith hospital fundraiser

| Oliver Jacques
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Man holding encased soccer ball

Salvatore Trimboli with the Rivaldo-signed soccer ball at La Piccola. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

The owner of popular Griffith Italian deli La Piccola will auction off a soccer ball signed by Brazilian legend Rivaldo as part of a big World Cup-inspired push to raise funds for Griffith Base Hospital’s children’s ward.

Salvatore Trimboli realised a childhood dream in August when he met Rivaldo at an event in which the Soccer World Cup trophy was displayed at the revamped Sydney Football Stadium.

“I was shaking when I met Rivaldo … I remember watching him win the World Cup in 2002 when I was just 17 years old. To be able to meet him was one of the best days of my life.”

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Mr Trimboli seized the opportunity to combine his two passions – football and giving back to his beloved Griffith community.

“I got a signed ball from Rivaldo, which we’ll be using to raise money for the hospital up to and during this year’s World Cup in Qatar, which starts in November. It’s the biggest party in the world and we all love it. I thought, why not use it as an opportunity to raise funds, which our hospital really needs. Griffith has given so much to me so I want to do as much as I can to give back.”

Those interested will be able to make anonymous bids for the soccer ball up until Saturday, 26 November – the date of the Australian Socceroos’ match against Tunisia – which will be broadcast live at Griffith City Cinemas.

Two men

Salvatore Trimboli and Rivaldo at the Sydney Football Stadium. Photo: Supplied.

At half-time of the Socceroos’ match, real estate agent Angelo Cirillo of Soul Property will start a live auction, with the opening bid being whatever the highest was in the blind auction before 26 November.

La Piccola will also sell raffle tickets for $8 each or three for $20, with a range of prizes on offer – including a ball signed by former Socceroos captain Paul Wade, a centennial commemorative book on the Socceroos and hamper packs filled with La Piccola products. The deli will also raise money for the hospital via a World Cup sweep and a Go Fund Me page.

All three of the Socceroos’ matches will be broadcast live at Griffith City Cinemas.

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“I’m going to be on auto pilot all month … it’s great the World Cup is somewhere that Australians can watch at a decent time. My plan is to get home at 5:30 pm, go to sleep, then wake up at 9 pm to try and watch three matches every day.”

“Australia did so well to qualify and I think they’ve got a real chance of getting out of the group.”

As one of the few authentic Italian delicatessens in rural NSW, La Piccola has long been an institution in Griffith. Mr Trimboli opened his store 19 years ago, inspired by his father, Michele, who had a grosseria (wholesaler) van that he used to deliver Italian produce to homes.

“I drove around with my Dad in the van from when I was four years old … then when I was a teenager I started working in a deli at Woolies. I always had a dream to start up my own place,” Mr Trimboli said.

For more information on the Griffith Base Hospital World Cup fundraisers, visit the La Piccola Facebook page.

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