240 Gippslanders turned out for the annual Olivia’s Place Charity Gala on August 17 at Lardner Park, with the aim of raising funds for Olivia’s Place to continue supporting Gippsland families through the highs and lows of pregnancy and early parenting.
Attendees had fun dabbling in raffles, games and silent auctions throughout the night, with the main event being the live auction held halfway through the evening.
Olivia’s Place President, Kylie Sharp, welcomed guests including Gary Blackwood MP, Mayor Mikaela Power, Cr Jessica O’Donnell and Cr Peter Kostos. Mayor Mikaela Power officially opened the event, encouraging people to dig deep in support of Olivia’s Place. Co-Founder and General Manager of Operations, Kirsten Finger, spoke about the growth of Olivia’s Place since its humble beginnings and her own challenges of parenting and moving into a new community 9 years ago.
Meg, a previous client of Olivia’s Place, was the special guest speaker. She shared her experience of support from the Olivia’s Place family support team over a period of more than a year. Meg had three children in quick succession, alongside difficult emotional and physical experiences including depression and domestic violence.
Leigh Marino, from The Courthouse in Warragul, also spoke. He shared a father’s perspective of parenting children both in a relationship and at a distance from a broken relationship, as well as all the related challenges all the while battling significant health issues. His pearl of wisdom from the night was to keep an eye on those Instagram posts from friends, because the ones that talk about missing sleep are often cries for help and an encouragement for us to check in.
Acoustic Reprise played music throughout the night. MC Luke Patterson and auctioneer Paul Phillips had fun with the crowd during the live auction contributing heavily to the amount raised from the event, over $56,000.
Local businesses were another major contributor, with generous donations of items and vouchers to ensure success and with the following event partners being acknowledged for their significant support:
Platinum Partner - LMK Building Surveyors
Silver Partners - Smith McCarthy Wilson, Warragul Drouin Gazette, SJD Law, Aussie Wool Comfort, Loan Market Mortgage Broker Benjamin Dennis, Jamie Power - House & Land Expert, Baw Baw Paws, Gippsland Audiology and Viatek Print Services Warragul.
Supporting partners Warragul Dental Care, Commonwealth Bank Business Centre Warragul, Katie Parker Postpartum Support Gippsland, Adams Financial Solutions, Khans Hospitality Services and Lardner Park.