Creating miracles at Children First’s 2016 Gala Ball

What a fabulous night we had at Children First’s 2016 Gala Ball.

Three hundred Foundation friends gathered for the black tie event in the beautiful Park Hyatt Ballroom to enjoy an evening of fine food and entertainment, and to help Children First create miracles for children.

Our wonderful MC Lou Spargo got the evening off to a great start by expertly directing guests to the very popular Pommery Champagne Bar. Thanks to volunteers Charlotte, Miren and Kelsey who managed the Bar with such great aplomb.

Lou acknowledged Miracle sMiles program partners St Vincent’s Private Hospital and Cabrini, Foundation principal supporters Ashurst, Grant Day James and Priceline and supporters Airbiz, Dimension Data and Preston Rotary.

Miracle sMiles Retreat Manager Pat Weldon introduced our guest speaker, orthopaedic surgeon Associate Professor Leo Donnan. Pat had consulted two of Leo’s past patients, brothers Motaz and Ali, who are now back home in Palestine, asking them how they would describe Doctor Leo. Their response was just three words –  ‘unbelievable,’ ‘awesome,’ and ‘hero’.

“It takes a whole village to raise a child” Igbo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb

Leo likened Children First to a village comprising hospitals, medical practitioners, donors, volunteers, and Foundation staff and Board. Leo’s passion was evident and he encouraged all of us to do more for children who need our help. View Leo Donnan Presentation here.

Winner of the 2015 Children First Humanitarian Award, nurse Philippa Tesselaar, told us of her journey with an Interplast Australia and New Zealand surgical team in the Philippines. Philippa described her experience as life-changing.

The 2016 Humanitarian Award was then presented to Pauline Mcleod, a physiotherapist from St Vincent’s Private Hospital. Pauline will attend a conference in the UK and undertake courses in clinical pilates and yoga, skills that will enhance the post-surgical treatment of the children helped by Children First and many other patients.

Perhaps the star of the night was Theresa who told us how she suffered burns as an eight-year-old, and the surgery in Australia that changed her life two years ago. She then introduced a video about Koko from PNG. We thank The Age and photographer Eddie Jim for allowing us to show his photographs and Teagan Glenane for her expert editing once again.

Entertainer extraordinaire Tim Campbell was back by popular demand again this year and the dance floor was full each time he and his band took the stage.

And a Flash Mob made a surprise appearance and entertained us with an energetic dance display: they even enticed guests to join them on the dance floor.

There was a wonderful array of experiences and memorabilia to bid on, provided by Signed & Framed, Tombola Lucky Envelopes to purchase and a raffle to take a chance on – thanks to Holloway Diamonds, Park Hyatt and Pommery for donating the prizes!

And last but not least, huge thanks to the fabulous staff from Priceline who volunteered once again to help on the night.

We hope you enjoy the photos, courtesy of Happy Medium Photos.