On Friday 25th October, Edward Federman and the ARA Group hosted 270 guests for this year’s ARA Endowment Fund Annual Gala Dinner.
The ARA Group is on a mission to create a lasting legacy of charitable support for the communities in which we operate. Last year, we held the first annual ARA Endowment Fund Gala Dinner and showcased the work of our three charitable Partner Foundations, as well as treating our guests to a lively evening filled with art, auctions, music, dance and entertainment. The ARA Group pays for the entire event so that every dollar raised, including the cost of each table, is donated directly to the ARA Endowment Fund. This ensures that 100% of the interest earned annually will provide substantial contributions to each of the Partner Foundations in perpetuity.
Continuing the annual tradition in 2019 for its 10th Anniversary, the theme of this year’s Gala Dinner was ‘Madmen and Dames’. Our guests arrived at Sydney’s grand and elegant Ivy Ballroom, which was styled with inspiration from the fun and fast-paced US advertising firms in the 1960s.
We were honoured to have Uncle Allan Murray, Board Member of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council to provide Welcome to Country for the event. Guests were looked after by the hospitable and stunning ‘Pan-Am’ Stewardesses throughout the night, whilst comedian Julian Morrow (The Chasers War on Everything) kept everyone on the edge of their seats as the Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer – conducting all of the evening’s formalities with his usual wit and flair.
We would like to extend our thanks to all of our speakers from the Partner Foundations for sharing their experience with ARA and highlighting the achievements made within each of the foundations, including co-founders of The GO Foundation, Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin; representatives and ambassadors of The Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Justine Clarke and Nicole Ahmat; as well as CEO of The David Lynch Foundation, Mark Bunn, with General Manager of Lou’s Place, Nicole Yade, and well-known media personality Gretel Killeen.
The evening was a smashing success, raising over $300,000 on the night. Every dollar has gone directly to the principal balance of the ARA Endowment Fund. The ARA Endowment Fund now has a principal balance of more than $2 Million. The interest earned from this principal balance will be shared equally with each of the Partner Foundations.
As the evening closed on formalities, guests had the privilege of seeing spectacular performances from ‘Joan’ the Office Manager (Ilona Harker) and the sensational live music with Dan Barnett’s Big Band accompanied by the sensational Retrospect’d swing dancers who wrapped up the evening in style.
We would like to thank all of our guests for their generous donations and support, as well as all of our speakers, performers and everyone that helped to make the ARA Endowment Fund Gala Dinner 2019 such a memorable and spectacular occasion. Together with your help, we are building a lasting legacy of support.