Thursday, March 22, 2012

A very rewarding evening

Last night was an amazing evening!  What a privilege to be invited to be part of such a great event!

The function was hosted by The Professionals Hutt City to raise funds for the Child Cancer Foundation.  It was held at La Bella Italia in Petone (and if you are ever in the area, go there!  Their food is amazing!)

Apart from selling tickets for people to attend the evening which consisted of a dinner and a cooking demonstration, they also held an auction and once again I was pleasantly surprised to see Bianca and Caitlyn's artworks up for auction.

Bianca's on the left and Caitlyn's on the right
How cool to see it on the auction sheet :-)

I believe there were about 100 people at last night's function.

The auctioneer meeting Sarah, the CCF CEO

This guy played the piano at times during the evening.  He did a great job!

Around 6:15pm (or maybe slightly after) we were welcomed by the MC. 

Sarah, the CCF CEO was up first to share with the audience what the purpose of CCF is and how their contribution help families fighting childhood cancer.  She reminded the audience that CCF gets no government funding at all.

Then it was our turn.  It was slightly different this time in that I was asked to make up some slides and I basically just put some photos to enhance my talk.  I was hoping to finish my talk with this clip, but sadly we couldn't get it to open on their laptop. 

I mostly kept myself in control during my talk, but became emotional towards the end of the talk. 

As requested, here is a photo of me during my talk.  Scott, the CCF fundraising manager took some photos, but unfortunately wasn't at a very good angle and so this is the best of the ones he took.  I've asked that some of the photos be sent to me that the other photographers took last night so will update when I get it.

Bianca was also wearing all her beads and during my talk I shared a bit about what they mean to us and what they represent.

After my talk, the auctioneer put Bianca up on stage and asked her a few questions.  Bianca is a natural - far better than me...

Then they auctioned off the first two items - Bianca and Caitlyn's artworks.  Both their pieces did really well in the auction!

Gabriele the Chef then did his cooking demonstration and he demonstrated making a Risotto.  He was so good and really entertaining to watch and listen to.  It was all so professionally done with a big TV screen to make it easier to see what he was doing.  He was telling us all about the type of herbs he likes using, how when you cook the onions "blonde is better than brunette" and he shared a bit about "hunting mushrooms" in Italy.

While the Chef was finishing off the Entree, this lady did some opera singing and also sang another song "In the arms of an angel".  She had such a lovely voice!

I thought the Risotto was absolutely delicious!  Doesn't it look great?

Last night I was absolutely moved.  I met somebody who was incredibly inspirational -  Dean Gifford.  He was also one of the guest speakers.  If you don't know Dean, click here to read about him.  He is currently fighting his own battle with cancer, but despite this has been doing so much for children fighting cancer as well as doing really cool things for the children on Ward 18 at Wellington Children's hospital.  On top of that he's done quite a bit for the people in the Solomon Islands.  I was totally moved!

Here is the owner of La Bella Italia Petone catching up with Dean after his talk

The rest of the auction went really well and it was heart-warming to see the generosity of everybody supporting a great charity!  Both Dean and I were completely surprised and blown away when 2 people gifted their items they bought at the auction to us.  I was given a midweek getaway accommodation / dinner package at The White Swan in Greytown for 2 people.  Incredibly kind and generous!!!  On top of that The Professionals Hutt City also gave Bianca and me a thank you present so we were incredibly spoilt last night!

Dinner was lovely!  Really fancy!

At the end of the evening we did some more photos.

Dean and us with the kind gentlemen who gifted their bought items to us.  Thank you, it is very much appreciated!

The people who bought Bianca's painting.

This lady was also originally from South Africa.
Then it was time to go home after a wonderful evening.  We met some amazing people and let me tell you The Professionals is such an amazing organisation and what they do for the Child Cancer Foundation is amazing!

We arrived home around midnight and today I kept Bianca home from school as she wouldn't have been very productive today at school and as her teacher told me last night would have been a very positive thing for Bianca to be involved with.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity last night to be able to try and give something back to CCF, to share our journey with the audience there last night and to help make a difference. 

It was such a rewarding experience!


blackhuff said...

Such a great cause and it sure looks like it went well. You sure are a proud mommy with your girl's artwork that have been auctioned. They sure are great.

Paul said...

An incredible night and a great post. Wonderful photos to create the atmosphere of the occasion. Well done for giving of yourself to a most important cause!

LatteJunkie said...

It looks amazing! What a great event.
You should be so proud of Bianca and yourself! Well done to both of you and you definitely deserve the break in Greytown!

(I love Bella Italia - their desserts are divine)

Lien - all new adventures said...

Yay! Fantastic post - great pics. Thank you for the photo. You look fabulous - go Girl!

RosemaryO said...

It sounds and looks like you did a great job. Too bad I live so far away I'd like to patronize the restaurant. It looks like they did a great job too and of course the organization. Your girls art works are beautiful. And so is Bianca!
Wonderful job.

Ellie said...

It really sounds as if this was an amazing evening for you all.
Your girls pictures are lovely and how nice that they were auctioned.

Sarah said...

Sounds like such a positive evening Lea :) I'm so happy for you that you got invited and felt you were really able to give something back.

CCF are a godsend ....and now people like you are, to them, with all you do to give back I'm really pleased for both you and Bianca that you had such a good time :)

Would you like a babysitter whilst you're away for your Greytown trip :) I'd be more than happy to help you out with that, just let me know if you do.

I love the girls' artwork, it must be lovely seeing it auctioned :)

There are some very nice people out there, gifting their gifts like that to you and Dean :) Enjoy!!

Sue W @ Living the Good Life said...

Well done Lea and Bianca, awesome job, awesome evening! Well done to all involved :D

Lea said...

Hello Lea,
Wow! What a wonderful event.
Love the children's artwork!
Have a blessed week-end!
Lea in Mississippi, USA

Marcia (123 blog) said...

AWESOME job of capturing all the details, Lea.

And wonderful that you got the talk done so well and that Bianca also managed to do well.

YAY to the getaway!!!

amanda said...

Well done! So proud of you and the girls.
love, mum

BridgetPirie said...

Wow,it sounds like such a great evening, and that you and Bianca did a wonderful job. Lea, you are looking so great and fit and trim. You must be feeling so proud of yourself. Hugs to all you guys... :)

Susan said...

I love the artwork - very talented.
What a beaut night and you reported on it so well Lea. You look a natural behind the microphone as well :D)