Home' Rotary Down Under : August 2013 Contents 32 Issue 553. August 2013
By Athanae Lucev
Rotar y Club of Crawley, WA
Alongside its world-leading commitment to diversity, youth engagement
and gender equality in membership ranks, part of what makes Perth-based
Rotary Club of Crawley such an innovative club is its passion for fundraising.
On May 4, the club hosted its second A Night to Remember event.
Remarkably, through the incredible work of volunteers and the generosity
of sponsors and supporters, Rotary Crawley was able to raise a total of more
than $400,000 in just one night.
Held at the five-star Hyatt Regency Perth, the black-tie gala event was
attended by more than 320 guests. Former ABC broadcaster Verity James
generously donated her time as master of ceremonies on the evening, while
Gold Logie nominated television producer, journalist, former radio host and
host of ABC’s Enough Rope, Andrew Denton, was keynote speaker.
Special guests on the night included the Governor of Western Australia
Malcolm McCusker and his wife Tonya. Acclaimed vocalist Billie Court
performed the national anthem accompanied by Phil Walley-Stack on the
didgeridoo, and members of the Perth Symphony Orchestra entertained
guests through the night with modern takes on old classics and pop songs.
Rotary Crawley member and auctioneer extraordinaire Peter Lawrance led
a highly successful auction with items like an African Safari and a getaway
to Indonesia each netting several thousands of dollars.
What makes this evening so special is that it’s not just another black-tie
event: it’s genuinely an opportunity for a group of people to come together
to help raise funds that will turn lives around. The night’s beneficiary, Teen
Challenge WA, is one of the largest and most effective substance abuse
recovery programs of its kind. Teen Challenge’s Grace Academy is a 40-bed
rehabilitation facility that provides care for young men and women who are
detoxing from drug and alcohol dependence as a first step, then assists with
practical skills and building capability for individuals to return as responsible
members of society, ready to make their own positive difference. The cost of
each person’s attendance at the Grace Academy sits at about $20,000, and
Rotary Crawley thanks the Governor and Mrs McCusker for donating this
amount for a scholarship to the academy on the night.
With the assistance of funds raised, Teen Challenge WA will continue to
help stop the destructive cycle, and the lives wasted through addiction.
A Night to Remember
This is the most difficult communiqué I
have had to write in my quest to make
the world a better place, in the name of
But I will never lose sight of
the generous, compassionate and
encouraging Rotarians who have
supported Disaster Aid Australia to
where it is today.
Since our inception three years ago
as an Australian Rotary clubs project,
we have worked together to provide
our marvellous survival boxes, water
purification systems and solar lighting
for more than 2500 families in various
parts of the world following a disaster.
It is because of our great team effort
that we have been able to achieve this.
Because of our own disasters here
in Australia over the past six months
and the general concern about our
economy following the GFC, our
donations have subsided and it is for
this reason my role and life at Disaster
Aid Australia ended in early July. The
Board had to make a choice between
ensuring the maximum amount of
donated funds reached those affected
by disasters, or using a larger amount
for fundraising and administration
costs. This latter choice would result
in DAA being unable to deliver to the
needy the maximum number of our
much needed boxes of hope, water
purification systems and solar lighting.
Without remuneration costs, DAA
can provide greater services to those
affected by disasters.
I sincerely thank you all for your past
assistance and ask that you continue to
support this amazing organisation.
I have said it before – stand tall and
proud – we have made a difference
as Australian Rotarians and we will
continue to do so into the future.
A difficult day
for Disaster Aid
with CEO Jenni Heenan
32 Issue 553. August 2013
Following the decision of Disaster
Aid Australia to terminate the
position, CEO Jenni Heenan bids
her supporters a fond farewell.
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