AU ABROAD

Event Recap: The Light Ball - Doltone House, Pyrmont (25.09.15)

Last Friday night saw the launch of The Light Ball in Sydney. Started in Ireland, the charity ball is a black tie event held to raise awareness of mental health issues and to aid the Irish Charity, Pieta House and the Australian Charity, beyondblue. Highly successful in Ireland, two members of committee recently moved to Sydney with the plans to take the ball Down Under.

Held in Doltone House in Pyrmont, almost 800 people came together to support the mental health charities through a lively live auction, a raffle and donations. The support for the cause was evident from the passionate speeches to the generosity from the crowd. A highlight of the evening was Swans player, Tadhg Kennelly, the wonderful speech he made about male mental health and the following spirited live auction for the Swans jersey he kindly donated that was won for $2500.

There was also a wonderful speech from Lana Penrose, renowned author, a Lifeline crisis support volunteer and spokesperson for beyondblue. In addition to speaking about her own experiences with mental health issues, she assured the event attendees that their kind donations were going to a charity who’s work was having real impact. Beyondblue focuses on not just supporting the victims of mental health but their family, friends and others affected by their loved ones condition. They offer 24/7 counselling support and have structured programs with tailored approaches so they can give the most effective support.

The Irish charity, Pieta House, is also doing fantastic work overseas. Since it’s formation, it has seen and helped nearly 18,000 people in suicidal distress and has saved countless lives. They run centres across Ireland helping and housing those in need in addition to raising awareness and de-stigmatising mental health.

As well as some great prizes and inspiring speakers, the food and drinks were equally fantastic. A clear highlight was the Instagram-worthy and delicious dessert designed by pastry chef, Vincent Gadan especially for the event.

The amount of support for the event was overwhelming and, to be honest, inspiring. From people flying in from Ireland to attend to videos of support from Irish celebrities including Hozier, there was plenty of green spirit and craic going on as the Aussies and Irish came together.

This time next year, I’ll be amongst the first grabbing a ticket (because I have a feeling that they’ll sell like hotcakes!). Like their Facebook page to be the first to hear all about it: https://www.facebook.com/TheLightBallSydney