IF YOU’RE greeted with a joke and a beaming smile at Perth Makers Market in Applecross tomorrow (Sunday December 18) chances are it’ll be Matt Pegdon – aka The Showman Perth.
The 34-year-old participated in basketball at this year’s Special Olympics and runs a successful micro-enterprise as a professional MC and people-greeter.
“I like making people laugh,” said Pegdon, a naturally charismatic person with a big heart and a ready supply of jokes.
Pegdon turned his passion for conversation and humour into a business opportunity in 2017 with the help of Valued Lives Foundation, a not-for-profit he and his family helped establish almost 10 years ago.
Since then Pegdon’s been growing in confidence, meeting and greeting people professionally at a variety of events, from Perth Makers Market to City of Fremantle and City of Belmont events.
One of the highlights has been meeting three-time world boxing champion Danny Green.
“I’m a big fan,” Pegdon said.
Valued Lives Foundation played a lead role in helping him set up The Showman Perth, named after one of his favourite movies, the 2017 Hugh Jackman hit The Greatest Showman.
The not-for-profit provided advice and support, from helping organise an ABN number and set up social media, to connecting Pegdon with local community leaders.
Now a regular at Perth Makers Market, Pegdon is looking forward to showcasing his talents in front of a crowd of thousands at this month’s pre-Christmas market extravaganza tomorrow (Sunday December 18).
Valued Lives is one of several not-for-profits provided with stallholder space free-of-charge by the organisers of Perth Makers Market.
Market owner and organiser Erin Madeley said donating market stall space to a range of community groups and not-for-profits was one of the ways her business could give back to the community.
“Having ties to local communities has always been a real focus for our markets,” Ms Madeley says.
“The Valued Lives Foundation has always been part of our story and we’re delighted to be providing a platform for the talented entrepreneurs proving a disability doesn’t have to stand in the way of your business goals.”
The last Perth Makers Market for the year will be held at Goolugatup Heathcote, Applecross from 9.30am-3.30pm tomorrow (Sunday December 18).