Celebration of Life 11th Annual Gala Ball 2013 to aid Royal Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit Melbourne
Story: Renee Stah Photos: Helen Reizer HRPR
Melbourne 12 September 2013
Royal Children’s Hospital Celebration of Life 11th Annual Gala Ball. A night of glamour and warm hearts.
Celebration of Life has a whole new meaning when you are considering unwell babies who survive after complicated surgery. Providing excellence in the care and healing of these fragile little angels is truly a remarkable reason to celebrate and certainly cause enough for a superb Gala Ball that was held at the Crown Palladium on Thursday 12 September 2013.
Royal Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Melbourne was shown huge support (and rightfully so) at its 11th annual fundraising event. Celebrities and business entrepreneurs made up the generous group of individuals who could not hold back their tears while watching Dr Rod Hunt’s presentation of some of the most successful medical procedures that have saved the lives of many children and continue to do so every day.
Crown Palladium, one of Melbourne’s most exquisite venues, was the ideal setting for the event and its guests. The entertainment and menu for the evening had an Italian theme, calling the night ‘Una Celebrazione della Vita’, meaning ‘A Celebration of Life’. Tables were decorated with soft white feathers, a perfect theme for the gentle care taken of babies at the Royal Children’s Hospital Butterfly Ward. ‘Vicki’s Bickies’ in the shape of masquerade masks were a great touch on the opulently decorated tables and were one the many gifts to guests donated by local businesses showing their support.
Bendigo Bank Strathmore donated $10,000 to the Royal Children’s Hospital on the night. Other contributors included Bodyography, Kirby & Kirby, Crown, Blush Photography and Hairhouse Warehouse. Melbourne Electric Bicycles, Sue Sensi and many other businesses and sports teams like St Kilda Football Club donated amazing gifts for the silent auction. Seats were filled with A-list celebrities and some of Melbourne’s most influential people.
AFL’s Anthony Koutoufides and his lovely wife Susie, were very popular for photo snaps with guests and seemed to be having a great time. With three children of their own, it was no surprise they would show their support for such a great cause. Other sportspeople in attendance included Olympic Basketballer Elizabeth Cambage and Paralympian and gold-medal winner Dylan Alcott.
Celebration of Life wasn’t short of radio and television celebrities either. Naomi Robson was a delight to chat to. Friendly and down to earth, we discussed her life as a businesswoman, running her own company ‘Managing Your Message’, the perfect path following her success as presenter of Channel 7’s Today Tonight. Anjali Rao from SBS, Channel 9’s Clint Stanaway, Nova’s Dan Anstey and 3AW’s Tony Tardio and Donna Demaio were also there.
Fashionistas Dom and Melina Bagnato dressed for the occasion, Melina styled most beautifully in a black number by Jason Grech. Celebrity chef Philip Vakos enjoyed what was on his dinner plate that night and upon meeting Jared Daperis, I can confirm that he is just as charismatic in reality as he is on screen as Underbelly’s ‘Squizzy’.
Catherine Cervasio, entrepreneur, writer, founder and director of AROMABABY® deserves an honourable mention. Her impact on the well-being and care for babies and mothers in this country and internationally, is an inspiration to us all. As the Chairwoman of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital, her role was fundamental in organising the 11th Annual ‘Celebration of Life’ Gala Ball – a fundraising event that was elegant, enjoyable, heartfelt, and a huge success. Catherine Cervasio, I know that mothers across the country would want me to say… thank you.
Story: Renee Stah
Photos: Helen Reizer HRPR
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