• Belinda Hedley, Natalie Weber and Louise Dobson.

    Belinda Hedley, Natalie Weber and Louise Dobson.

  • Sharon and Eugene Kalenjuk

    Sharon and Eugene Kalenjuk

  • Luke Healey and Natasha Royal

    Luke Healey and Natasha Royal

  • Chris and Kim Donaghue

    Chris and Kim Donaghue

  • Fiona and Mario Sanfrancesco with Anna and Paul Smith

    Fiona and Mario Sanfrancesco with Anna and Paul Smith

  • Brad and Emma Barnes

    Brad and Emma Barnes

  • Ian and Cheryl Brown

    Ian and Cheryl Brown

  • Sunny Rutherford and Penny Czyzewska

    Sunny Rutherford and Penny Czyzewska

  • Ken and Julie Brownrigg

    Ken and Julie Brownrigg

  • Cam and Joanna Webber with Bronwyn and Mark Sullivan

    Cam and Joanna Webber with Bronwyn and Mark Sullivan

  • Jennie and Nicholas Glasgow

    Jennie and Nicholas Glasgow

  • Ken and Lis Maxwell

    Ken and Lis Maxwell

  • Chris and Stacey Miller

    Chris and Stacey Miller

  • ....caught between pool and room...

    ....caught between pool and room...

  • James and Sue Service

    James and Sue Service

  • Phil O'Brien, Dennis Milin, Richard Hedley and Ben Weber

    Phil O'Brien, Dennis Milin, Richard Hedley and Ben Weber

Canberra Cancerians Committee Gala Dinner 2015

22 August 2015

The Canberra Cancerians Committee which raises funds for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation has, just like many other charity fundraisers, changed and evolved to suit a different kind of market. From the big themed spectacular with a catalogue of desirable auction items where the bidding between guests was a competitive sport, the entertainment was straight from central casting and the guests competed to be the ‘best dressed’, today it’s a gala dinner at a commendable $1000 a head which has put a dint in the numbers but more in the charity coffers.

Will they experiment next with ‘crowd funding’ to target specific needs. If not, why not? Perhaps that’s a future- funding opportunity, meanwhile the pleasure of this event is still its best drawcard.

With a glam design and plenty of colour the Hyatt gussied up their ballroom to complement the Black and White theme for the guests, as this crowd knows their ‘best black and pearls’ better than most and as fashionistas say everything goes with black and white. Actually that’s why the mavericks stood out and looked gorgeous in splashes of colour.

The major auction items included a trip to the Rugby World Cup, a Creations tanzanite and diamonds ring and a sleepover at Jamala in the National Zoo and Aquarium. The world class entertainment included the diminutive Rachael Beck, a mini circus from the internationally acclaimed Circa on a very mini stage set close to the diners and dancing to Tall Pop Syndrome. I arrived early to check out the décor, catch up with the Hyatt’s organising guru Michelle Bennett and to snap a white toweling gown clad gent with slip on slippers as he scurried along before the guests came sashaying down the staircase.

A salutary reminder if you’re staying at the Hyatt that the ballroom foyer isn’t a safe haven between pool and room. Funniest sight I encountered was a fluke, as the Sultan of Brunei resplendant in a significant uniform with braid and brass, entourage fluttering along behind , politely stopped for me at the bottom of the stairs for a photo opp with a couple of toweling gown clad guests gobsmacked by the moment they’d happened upon.

But it was all glamorous for the Canberra Cancerians; fabulous food from chef Nitin Kumar, the charity bar where donations secured cocktails, beer, wine and a raffle ticket, plenty of champagne and probably a cab home or an overnighter with a lovely fresh white toweling gown to run the gauntlet for a morning swim.