Sotiria Liangis' Fundraiser for Canberra Hospital Foundation

9 November 2016

Sotiria Liangis built a magnificent house on the hill in O’Malley. You’ve no doubt seen it as you drive up and over that hill heading towards Fyshwick and probably wondered what it is like inside and who lives there.

And while not the primary residence of the Liangis family it is very much a house to impress and use for significant occasions as it was for the Canberra Hospital Foundation fundraiser where guests are invited to pay $1000 a head and all the money goes straight to the Foundation where it’s to be targeted for the children’s ward at the Canberra Hospital to fulfil the only stipulation of this fundraiser. And fulfil Mrs L’s intent to provide a range of amenities and needs to make the space kid friendly and provide the very best in much needed equipment.

The dinner, now in its third year, is a spectacle of indulgence and gastronomic delights in a spectacular house where the style and decor reflect the best that Mrs L can provide with glittering chandeliers, metres of marble, a garden she’s planned and created to enhance the facade and personal touches of family photos, furniture to match the opulence and a lounge room where the 120 guests were comfortably seated. Not many in this city can do that, and even fewer would pick up the bill for the whole shebang.

Catering this year was by the Hyatt Hotel and a brigade of staff handled every aspect with style and class under the watchful eye of General Manager Fredrick Arul, who is no stranger to making an impression, keeping the smooth running slick, smart and very impressive.

The massive flower arrangements that started in the foyer were Mrs L’s contribution with son John Liangis saying she’d been up until midnight getting them perfect, and two huge white bouquets for Fiona Sanfrancesco and Marg Job who were the driving force behind the organisation of this huge undertaking and front and centre to welcome every guest as they swept up the drive to a welcoming drink, and plenty of kissing and hugging. There were photographs to take, drinks and canapes on the back terrace and then a spectacular storm steadily brewing over the distant Brindabellas closed in. Was it an ominous sign from on high about the Trump win, some thought so, but no just one of Canberra’s spring storms that augered well for the garden.

Guest flowed through to the dinner, the very 60’s band Second Movement in their classic blue suits, led by vocalist Arthur Laing played to the occasion, interspersed with the now traditional welcome by Mrs L’s grandson Angelo welcoming guests and Tony Henshaw, as Deputy Chair of the Canberra Hospital Foundation speaking about the way the money will be used and thanking the hostess for her generosity.

It was not the ‘usual suspects’ kind of event, this is always an eclectic mix of friends who choose to be there to make a donation to Mrs L’s favourite charity knowing all too well it’s just one of the many things she does for this city.