Feast For Paul Freeman

Last week a video popped up into my Facebook news feed and I clicked on it. It was Oprah, being her usual awesome self, talking about having a supreme calling on your life, and it's our job to recognise it. When we know beyond any doubt what that calling is, we will just relax into it, and not be phased when we feel we are off track as we understand that being off track will propel us into another direction, a new direction, that will lead us into our destiny.  It was life changing.

I've been feeling this way - "off track" for a few weeks now. It’s been a hard time in my little head.  But on Saturday night, I got centred, and I really realised what the supreme destiny for my life is.

To produce charity events.

I have said this is what I have wanted to do for years, but I always felt it would be something that would happen "later", when the company was bigger, more well known, and in a better position financially. But when one of my husband’s best friends passed away this year, I took the opportunity, together with my team, to create an event in his name to raise funds to fight cancer.

We all worked long and hard, rallying the support of our industry colleagues who were so very generous to donate prizes and goods to make the night a success. We sold tickets, really slowly at first and I wondered if we would even get close to our goal of 100 guests and $10,000 to donate. I resigned myself to the fact that we wouldn't, and tried to convince my very goal-oriented mind that anything we raised would be awesome.

After months of organisation, the night arrived. Our gorgeous aerialist was posed high in the air, ready to pour champagne for guests as they arrived. The marquee looked amazing, decked out with gold and black sequinned tablecloths, tall pedestal centrepieces with greenery balls bursting from the top, and emerald coloured napkins. Thank you cards were donated by Paper Divas, and the bar by Little Gray Station. Giant light up marquee lights from Event Letters were my fave feature of the room, along with an opulent dessert buffet with cakes by Deliciously Decadent.

The drinks were cold, the sun was setting and our guests started to trickle off the Coachlink bus, down the driveway and into the fairylights. Even though I knew 87 people were coming, there was a huge moment of relief and joy when I saw real faces coming towards me.  It wasn’t really real until that moment. 

We drank champagne under the stars, served upside down by a stunning Aerial Angel of course who was perched among the branches and delicious canapes from Canadian Kitchen circulated.  There was the sound of laughter and chatter in the warm dusky night and I relished in it.

At 6pm we were seated in the impressive marquee the shone bright with fairylights,chandeliers and a huge ladder installation dripping with candles and shoes…to mark the dance floor (which I totally carved up later in the evening BTW…).  The anticipation continued to build.

A warm welcome came from Paul's friends and we remembered the reason why we were all there, to celebrate a life and pay homage to a son, partner, brother, uncle and friend who is no longer with us.  When raffle tickets were mentioned, more prizes were added to the pool from MeMediaHilton Surfers ParadiseJoining Hands and Belgian Delights. (See a full list of all other sponsors below).  We needed to raise about $4k in raffle tickets to meet our target…..that’s selling 200 tickets to a group of 87 people, who had already paid for their ticket to the event.  In my head, it just wasn’t going to happen….but that’s ok, we would have a good time anyway =)

The night began with smooth music from Moonzoo Entertainment, and live performance acts from Aerial Angels Entertainment. The room was buzzing with energy, the clinking of glasses, the happy chatter of friends, the warm glow of candles and the scent of Spring blowing through the trees.  These are the moments when I am happiest, and I had the privilege of sharing it with so many other fabulous folk.   

After dinner, the music picked up and I was invited to the dance floor by Paul’s sister.  I didn’t leave for hours afterwards, and may have instigated a few dance offs…which may or may not have resulted in scraped knees and pants splitting.  Good times. 

t was an incredible night of fabulous food and conversation, a night of celebration and friendship.

It was made perfect, when the announcement was made after the raffle was drawn that we had raised$14,500.00 to donate to the Cancer Council. I jumped up from my seat, clapping and woo hooing and everyone else in the room followed. $14,500!!!!! I could not believe it…I still can’t.  Such an amazing result that I never thought was possible. 

It’s now Tuesday, and I am still high from the experience. I am utterly addicted. Addicted to the feeling of making people happy, and making my little world a better place.  I have longed for it for so many years. I saw Paul's parents cry, smile and dance....enjoying a brief moment of joy after so much grief.

I have never felt so complete.  So that’s it for me…I know what my calling is and I CAN’T WAIT to do it all again.  Watch.  This.  Space.

Special thanks to our major sponsors who ensured our raffel tickets went like hot cakes:

Stratco - for donating a $5,000.00 patio!

MeMedia - for donating 12 months of online marketing services, valued at $7,200.00

WOW!!!!!

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to everyone who made this possible:

Polly’s Country Kitchen for the venue, Kennards Hire for the generator, The Party Fridge for allowing us to keep the drinks cold, Canadian Kitchen for the AMAZING food, All Time Party Hire for dinnerware and glassware, Uptown Publicity for helping us to get the word out, White Ivy Design for the floristry, LOVE Nightclub for receiving us after the event, Poetry in Motion for capturing it all on film, Tim Sherrif for some amazing photos (can’t wait to see them!), Deliciously Decadent for our cakes, B Cre8ive for Graphic Design services, Moonzoo Music for the SICK beats, Aerial Angels for the gorgeous roving and aerial performers, Coachlink for transporting our guests safely to and from the venue, Dreamweavers Events for Gold Tiffany Chairs, Paper Divas for our menu and thank you cards, Stem Design for centrepieces, Graffiti Stickers for signage, Little Gray Station for the wooden bar, Event Letters for the amazing BAR sign, Add On Hire for our gazebo draping and Miami Marketta who kindly donated 21 cases of beer for the cause. 

Also to our sponsors who provided prizes to be raffled on the night:

Fox & HoundsStratco,Hard Coffee,Amcal,Body Dynamics Crossfit,O’Reilly’s Rainforest RetreatLemon Canary CandlesSnap Fitness,Champagne Gallery, Tamiaans Beauty, Gold Coast SunsMe MediaThe Hilton Hotel,Belgian Delights and Joining Hands.

THANKS TO TIM SHERRIFF FOR THE PROFESSIONAL IMAGES!!