2013 CIKA Ball

Saturday 17 August was a very special night for our many families, friends and sponsors, who like to get together to show their support and commitment to CIKA. The event, which had a carnival theme with a fortune teller, distorting mirrors, a photo booth, spinning wheels and more, was hosted by our patron, Mr Peter Mitchell. Bob Valentine and his band provided the music and the Grand Auction was presided over by the inimitable Will Fowles who also conducted “The Game of Truth”, an innovation that proved popular with guests.

The event raised almost $60,000. What a fantastic effort by a dedicated and hardworking band of volunteers. Well done everyone. Here is a report from CIKA president, Sandra Lehrer, together with some photographs.

For many of our supporters the CIKA Ball is the highlight of the fundraising year, a time to get together to catch up with friends and to validate their ongoing commitment to CIKA. This event is in its fifteenth year and the CIKA Committee decided to prod the memories of our youth and put together a wonderful night with a Carnival theme.

On arrival at The Pullman Albert Park our guests were greeted with a glass of champagne and an enticing array of over two hundred silent auction items. With special thanks to Smart Amusements the choice of activities included spinning wheels, beat the clown, toss the coin, throw the sticky ball, hoop the wine and gaze into the wobbly mirrors. Madame Charlotte Anne was telling fortunes and the balloon lady was kept busy making shapes for parents to take home to their children.

The evening was in the very capable hands of our patron, Peter Mitchell, and the introduction of the CIKA video was a reminder of why we continue to fund research into childhood cancer.

Our guest speaker for the evening was the Chair of the Children’s Cancer Centre, Jeremy Smith. Jeremy, whose son was diagnosed with a rare form of rhabdomyosarcoma in 2007, talked about the long journey of diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy and follow-up care that was needed. We thank Jeremy for sharing this journey.

This year we had the absolute pleasure of presenting the award of CIKA CHAMPION to two longstanding CIKA supporters, this award reflects the dedication and the spirit of care and compassion shown by them to us. Sharron Markovic has been supporting CIKA for many, many years. She is a committed hard working supporter who dedicates her time to the very popular CIKA stalls at the RCH. Along with Ruth Murray, many hours are spent each week sourcing product, and wrapping and presenting it, often at considerable financial cost to themselves. 

Bob Valentine and his band have been with us since the Ball started they never fail to please the crowd. Bob loves a good party and he always has the CIKA crowd up and dancing. We would like to acknowledge his generous support of our event.

The Grand Auction was in the very capable hands of Will Fowles who is not only a terrific showman but a great auctioneer. His command of this event was reflected in the financial result!

The spirit of giving was reflected in the amount raised by the silent auction, the raffles, the photo booth, the sale of show bags, and our new table game, “The Game of Truth”, devised by CIKA member, Colleen Clift, which, together with the Grand Auction yielded close to $60,000. This is a great result in difficult times and we applaud our many supporters who continue to have faith in the work that the CIKA team has been doing since 1980. Events such as this would not be a success without the many people who support us.

A very special thanks to Robert and Steven of Briamar Press. The print work they have done for us over the last year has been extensive and the work they did for us at the Ball was fantastic.

The volunteers on the night did a sterling job. It is always very busy, but each year they turn up and they are the ones who help things go so smoothly; our thanks to all of them. So many people donated to help the night, food for volunteers, table centre pieces, photography, dress ups (thanks MLC) and much, much more. It is only with all your help that we can run this event.

CIKA is embarking on a big fundraising campaign over the next three years to support the establishment of a Translational Research Centre into solid cancerous tumours. Thanks to this night we are well on our way.