Oh what a night it was indeed!  So many Friends of Karinya – old and new – turned up on Friday 29 April 2016 to celebrate all things Karinya at the 2016 Annual Mother’s Day Gala Dinner.  We had almost 400 guests at our biggest Gala yet.  And what a night it was.   The evening started with Pre-Dinner drinks and Canapes, and it was clear from the beginning that it was going to be an event.  The Corinna Ballroom at the Canberra Southern Cross Club looked stunning and the room was abuzz with chatter and laughter.  The bar staff did well as there was quite a rush on the pre-dinner drinks!  Chef played his part and provided us with a wonderful composition for the Gala Dinner, including some delightful Petit Fours for dessert! We thank the Canberra Southern Cross Club, one of our major sponsors, for again hosting this event and donating the wonderful Ballroom for the evening.

We extend our sincere thanks to our Master of Ceremonies, Mr Michael Cooney, who did a marvellous job again this year, both dealing with the formalities, and managing the auction.  This was apart from the always entertaining appearance of Tim Kirk from Clonakilla, who personally auctions off his prize winning Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, which was bought by one of our guests for $3,500!! (This did include a promised tour of the Clonakilla winery and a second magnum! Thank you Tim!).  We thank the losing bidder also, the gracious Bill Cole of William Cole Funerals, one of our wonderfu long time supporters who then proceeded to give his losing bid as a donation toward our New Home!!

The formalities did begin on a sombre note, as we paid tribute to the wonderful Brian O’Donovan, who passed away at the age of 96 years earlier in April. Brian was an instrumental member of the Founders of Karinya House, setting up the original Trust in 1995, and then the Incorporated Association in 1997. Brian’s daughter, Margaret O’Donovan, also one of the original and driving Founders, is a member of the Karinya Committee and we were privileged to pay tribute to Brian in her presence.

As well as celebrating Brian and his life, we were also then given the opportunity to celebrate the announcement of a major funding partnership with Icon Water and we welcomed Jane Breaden, General Manager Business Services and other guests from Icon Water to the Karinya family.

For the first year ever, we had a number of Associate Sponsors for the event. We welcome and thank these organisations for their support. They were:

Bellchambers Barrett            CCS Group        Chadwick Designs        Clarke Keller        Clonakilla

Ernst & Young          Infinity Legal       Monarch Building Solutions           Price Waterhouse

Synergy           Your City Physio

We were also very pleased to welcome a table from the ACT Government – Community Services Directorate with representatives from Housing ACT and the Children and Youth Protection Services – our funding areas.  The wonderful midwives and nurses of the Maternal and Child Health Service were also represented with a table.  And one of our school partners, St Clare’s College also had a table with some of the senior girls and their chaperone, Mrs Moore.

We were fortunate to welcome Shane Rattenbury MLA and Meegan Fitzharris MLA as guests.  Fay Maddison, founder of Natasha’s Wood Foundation and wife of the Canadian High Commissioner, was also in attendance.

We have many other people to thank too!  There were many businesses and people who donated wine, raffle prizes and auction items.  We thank everyone present who then purchased raffle tickets, mystery wine sale tickets and completed auction bids.   All of the fun of the evening went toward generating over $30,000 toward the operations of Karinya House as well as another $20,000 or thereabouts in donations from the evening.  This is a most amazing result.  Given this is a watershed year for Karinya House, with our move to the new Home We will be completing this blog post with all of our donor and supporter information….. very soon!…. To see some images from the night, click here.

Thank you! to all our guests, supporters and Friends of Karinya! Thank you.