Annabel Crabb speaks at 2017 Maitland Black and White luncheon for Vision Australia

Almost 500 people gathered to raise money for Vision Australia at the annual Maitland Black and White luncheon on Wednesday.

Maitland Black and White Committee president Heather McLaren said the day was a huge success.

The event was so popular it had to be moved from Town Hall to Maitland Showground to accommodate the record crowd.

She said the generosity shown towards the charity fundraiser was a testament to Maitland’s community spirit.

Part of the attraction this year was the special guest ABC TV presenter and political journalist Annabel Crabb.

Ms Crabb said she had been involved in Black and White fundraisers before and had a close connection to the cause.

Her great-aunt, a nurse who she described as “a fabulous woman”, lost her vision prematurely.

“She was very capably aided,” Ms Crabb said. “I was always very grateful for the assistance she received from what is now known as Vision Australia, so the organisation rings a special bell for me.”

It was Ms Crabb’s first time in Maitland, but said the area struck a resemblance to where she grew up in country South Australia.

“[Maitland is] very beautiful, I love this place,” she said.

Ms Crabb’s appearance at the luncheon came off the back of a busy six months for the Kitchen Cabinet host.

She had just wrapped up filming a six part documentary series entitled The House, which is set to premiere in August.