Towards 2014 Cocktail Fundraiser A Great Success!

2013 has seen a rise of fundraising initiatives within the cross country community. With the demands of international travel and training placing a lot of pressure on athletes, their families and the resources of the national program it has been great to see the support for the national team increase through various fundraising ventures.

Thursday 10th October introduced the first cocktail party fundraiser, now destined to become an annual event. What started off as a pipe dream during a casual discussion in August, this fanciful idea began to take shape when Mandy Milne took the bull by the horns and started recruiting caterers, alcohol suppliers, sponsors and guests to make the night a roaring success!

Ellie with sushi

More than 110 people attended the evening that included delicious food, a photo slide-show, silent auction, speeches and an opportunity to meet national team athletes who gave up their time to waiter and waitress for the evening (see pic below). The feature events for the evening were a promotional video put together by Paul Kovacs and a speech by Phillip Bellingham, both shadow Olympic team members. Many of the attendees were not cross country skiers and the video gave them an insight into what the sport is all about and the physical demands of being an elite xc skier; while the speech highlighted the journey from humble beginnings “standing in gumboots strapped into plastic skis” to being on the cusp of achieving an Olympic dream, and all the sacrifices involved.

Two major items donated were sold in a ‘loud’ auction. U23 team member Nicholas Montgomery was the auctioneer for the night. With a flair for public speaking and getting people to dig deep, he successfully auctioned a ‘Hero’s pass’ donated by the Falls Creek Lift Company and a Falls Creek resort entry pass donated by Falls Creek Resort Management. Thank you to Michael Pollard and Steve Bentley for their competitive bidding and generosity, the sale of these items raised over $1200 alone! The organisers would like to make a special mention to thank David Herman, CEO of Falls Creek Resort Management, who made the trip from Falls Creek to attend the evening. It was wonderful to be able to publicly recognise the support the resort gives to the national team every year, providing world class grooming and funding for program.

Following the loud auction the silent auction gained serious momentum, with people inspired to pick up a bargain for a good cause. There was a huge variety of items on offer including: wine, beer, PT vouchers, jewellery, ski clothes, framed photographs, ski poles, weekends away and many other wonderful items all of which contributed to raising over $9,000. Notable donators to the silent auction were: Lake Mountain Resort, provided a beautiful pair of telemark skis; Mullawerring Chalet (Thredbo), donated 5 nights accommodation in summer and 2 nights accommodation in winter; Genovese Coffee, voucher for a barrister course and a coffee hamper; Marlo Hotel, a voucher for a weekend spa suite; Mountain Goat beer, for supplying cases of beer to be served and auctioned; and Bursill Sports who donated a myriad of ski related clothes and accessories.

Events like these don’t just happen, they need input and support from many people to be a success. Thank you to Finn Marsland, SSA XC High Performance Manager, for overcoming his control freak urges and letting us run with this idea. Paul Kovacs for putting together the wonderful promotional video. JC Legras for sourcing so many companies to donate items and vouchers, and waiting on the night. Esther Bottomley for designing the invite and sponsorship request form, Hamish Roberts and Geraldine Blanch coming all the way from Canberra, and all the other athletes who attended on the night, especially Phillip for overcoming his public speaking fear! The biggest thank you needs to go to Mandy Milne and Patrick Montgomery who generously provided the venue, the food and the alcohol for the evening and sourced many of the auction items and guests! This was an enormous contribution of time and resources and the night simply would not have been as big a success without your willingness and enthusiasm!

The 2013-2014 Northern winter will be an exciting and busy one for the Australian XC Teams. With athletes heading overseas to three major international championships, World University Games, World Junior and U23 Championships and of course the Winter Olympic Games meaning there are some major demands on program funds to provide support at these events and the money raised from this event will be a major help to the teams.

– Allison McArdle, SSA Cross Country Committee

Thanks again to all the donors:

 Falls Creek Resort Management  Falls Creek Ski Lifts
 Lake Mountain Resort  Saisch Dentistry
 Marlo Hotel  Genovese Coffee
 Henry Bucks  APEA Ski Club
 Eastern Mountain Centre  Barwon Ridge Wines
 Lisa Mentha  Amalia Café
 Great Divide Coffee  Urban Attitude
 Chrismont Wines  Alta Sports Specific Training
 Dr. Jekyll Cafe  Books in Print
 Geraldine Blanche  Gillian Hillman Jewellery
 Johannes Smit Photo Art  Bogong Equipment
 Bursill Sports Gear Pty Ltd  Mountain Goat Brewery
 YMCA Howmans Gap  Legras Training Systems

2 Responses

  1. […] raised over $25,000 towards athlete expenses overseas. Nearly $10,000 of this was generated at the Cocktail Party last October. For the 2014/2015 season Australian athletes will be competing at the 2015 World Championship in […]

  2. […] the USA) brought more attention to XC Towards 2014 leading into the Kangaroo Hoppet, and then the Cocktail Party hosted by Mandy Milne and Patrick Montgomery in October really capped the whole effort off with […]

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