There are a number of times in my life when I think that the planets have aligned perfectly and the result has been something truly amazing. There was the time I found myself at the Bourbon and Beefsteak in Kings Cross on the exact same night my future hubby happened to be there (it was the first time for both of us of course! J); the time the time Sydney Swans finally broke the Collingwood ‘hoodoo’ on what happened to be Jude’s 300th AFL game and the Preliminary Grand Final; and of course the birth of our perfect little girl Siarra, complete with 10 little fingers and 10 little toes.But most recently this happened to me when I became a member of the Red Committee.
Through a myriad of connections and twists and turns I was lucky enough to meet the founding member and I was invited to join the committee. The Red Committee are a small group of ladies who put their brains together to find ways to raise funds for the Kids Cancer Project – a charity that channels all of their resources into finding a cure for childhood cancers. Cancers are still the biggest killers of children from disease in Australia with 3 kids passing away every week. The Kids Cancer Project specifically focuses on brain tumours and neuroblastoma – some of the nastiest kids cancers going around. Almost 50% of these children lose their battle with cancer. The ones who are lucky enough to survive are very often left with life long side effects from their treatment.
This year the Red Committee organised a Gala Dinner at the Sydney Opera House during Vivid Festival. We hosted 250 people and raised almost $80,000 – a phenomenal effort if I do say so myself! Every cent of this will go towards research into kids cancers – imagine if, in our lifetime, we could say that we found a cure for the deadly cancers affecting our little ones?
It was a truly humbling experience to see how quickly people put up their hand to donate auction items and buy tickets and bid on the night (Yep JB I’m talking to you here. There is nothing Jude loves more than a live auction!) I was also left completely speechless and wishing I had applied water proof mascara when cancer survivor, 13 year old Ruby, said there were so many other kids worse off than her despite the fact she developed lung cancer at age 7 and as a result had half a lung removed. And when mum Brianna explained that even though her son Oscar had developed neuroblastoma at age 3, one of the NASTIEST cancers going around, she counts herself one of the lucky ones – not only has he survived but they have made life long friends in the process.
As an event planner there is nothing I love more than organising so being able to utilise my skills for such a worthwhile cause was truly a pleasure and an honour. I admit that there were times when I was frustrated at being attached to my laptop night after night and having to cold call organisations and beg friends and associates of LCB Productions to donate auction items. But of course I wouldn’t change a second of it. Being involved with such a fabulous group of ladies and this charity organisation has truly been an experience I will never forget. And there is nothing like a visit to the Children’s Hospital to act as a clip over the ears and a stark reminder as to why we all signed up in the first place.
As a mum I get teary thinking about children like Ruby and Oscar and the other little ones I have met through The Kids Cancer Project. I can not begin to think what it is like to be the parent of a sick child, to have to be strong and hold your head up high while your whole world is seemingly falling apart. Brianna talked about the importance of support and how grateful she was to have made new friends who were going through the same, imaginably difficult experience; but she also talked about the difficulty of being separated from her husband and her other children while she stayed with Oscar during his treatment. She had left their rural home for a quick visit to the doctor and it was months before she finally made it home again.
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported our night. Also to anyone who has ever made a donation, become a volunteer, lent an ear or made a cuppa for someone who is feeling a little down and out, for whatever reason. From working on this event and so closely with the Kids Cancer Project I have realised that there are many ways to support and make a difference to a person’s situation. Even if it seems like the smallest gesture it can make a world of difference.
For more details about The Kids Cancer Project click here
For more information about Oscar and his journey ‘LIKE’ his Facebook page here
For the Hearts On The Harbour video click here
Do you have a favourite charity that you support? Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s goodwill at a time when you needed a little hand?