In 2016, Eleni and her husband Mario, set out to raise money for The Grace Centre for Newborn Care at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, to fund the purchase of two new ventilators. Having experienced firsthand the important work The Grace Centre does, Eleni was determined to give back and set about organising an event to raise the funds needed for lifesaving equipment needed for critically ill newborns.
And so, the Tiny Miracles Gala Dinner was born.
Held on Friday 29 July 2016 at Doltone House Sylvania Waters, Eleni organised the fundraising dinner for over 400 guests. With support from the community, she was able to pull together a silent auction with prizes donated by generous local businesses. The event was so successful that it gained media coverage, helping to increase community awareness.
“My favourite part of working with Doltone House is working with the staff, they are courteous, reliable, professional and always provide the best advice when it comes to choosing the delicious menu, assisting with the floor plan and working alongside staff on the night.”
With the cause being so close to Eleni’s heart she was determined to make the event a huge success, something she wouldn’t have been able to do without the help from Doltone House both in the lead up to the event and on the night.
“The wait staff on the night were very efficient and hardworking, always asking if I needed anything. My event managers and coordinators are also always a pleasure to work with. The food was amazing as always, (there is always) plenty of it and prepared to top notch quality.”
Themed Christmas in July, tables were decorated with a mix of stunning cascading white wisteria; tall displays and white tree branches with hanging candles.
“The whole room was filled with warmth and love, stunningly styled with a Christmas in July theme. We had hundreds of auction items in the downstairs section, wonderful entertainment by five-piece band JellyBean Jam. It was an event that everyone who attended still talks about!”
The night was a huge success; “We raised $145,000 and with these funds we purchased two lifesaving ventilators valued at $100,000 to help critically ill newborn babies breathe; plus, an extra $34,000 was donated to The Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre within this unit. We also donated $11,000 to Westmead Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the purchase of equipment.”
Following the success of the Christmas in July event in 2016 Eleni has organised several other events and continues to work with Doltone House saying; “The Doltone House staff are always extremely helpful and willing to assist with anything.”