Dr Chris Ingall at the Our Kids luncheon, held at Southern Cross University, Lismore.
Dr Chris Ingall at the Our Kids luncheon, held at Southern Cross University, Lismore.

Melbourne Cup Our Kids lunch raises $10,000 for sick babies

OUR Kids Melbourne Cup Luncheon fundraiser sold-out and raised an estimated $10,000 for a new Special Care Nursery monitor for Lismore Base Hospital.

The 12th annual event was held at Southern Cross University's Union Central yesterday and attracted 207 guests - of which just four were men.

Known as a glamorous and charitable day out for the ladies, Union Central was decked out in feminine flair, with oriental styling adding a classy touch.

Marnie Smith, Vanessa Stewart and Dianne Kerr at the Our Kids Melbourne Cup Luncheon fundraiser.
Marnie Smith, Vanessa Stewart and Dianne Kerr at the Our Kids Melbourne Cup Luncheon fundraiser.

Fashion was obviously important for those in attendance, with fancy fascinators, stunning frocks and sky-high heels a common sight.

Event MC Janet Bowden summed up the luncheon in her opening speech, which drew loud applause from the crowd.

"There's a wonderful saying that says you can't live a perfect day without giving something to someone who can never repay you," she said.

First in Fashion

  • Best Dressed Filly - Cassie Wijeyekoom
  • Best Dressed Mare - Josie Peck
  • Best Dressed Stallion - Ernesto Angelosanto
  • Best Hat - Petria McRae
  • Our Kids award - Sophie Stewart

"Let me tell you ladies and gentleman, this year the energy is high and the spirit of friendship is evident on every table. And that is a recipe for success."

Doctor Chris Ingall, who founded Our Kids in 2001 and remains on its board, said the luncheon will directly help local children with special medical needs and their families.

HAPPY THEME: Judy Mallett, Lara Thearle and Petria MacRai at the Our Kids Melbourne Cup Luncheon yesterday.
HAPPY THEME: Judy Mallett, Lara Thearle and Petria MacRai at the Our Kids Melbourne Cup Luncheon yesterday. Mireille Merlet-Shaw Megan Kinninment

"Each event is often tagged to a piece of equipment...the money from today will go towards a $15,000 monitor for the special care nursery," he said.

Dr Ingall said events like the luncheon are critical to Our Kids' continued operation and a great opportunity to have a laugh with likeminded people.

The charity's fundraising coordinator Rebekka Battista spent months planning the event, which was evidently a hit.

"Seeing this booked out four-plus weeks in advance is such a huge relief for Our Kids," she said.

And while the Melbourne Cup remains the race that stops the nation for many, Mrs Battista conceded socialising would probably be top priority for most.

"We're all here for the frocks, hats and jewellery - oh, and there's a race on today," she joked.

Sponsors donated over $30,000 in prizes for the luncheon, including white pearl necklaces donated by the Lismore Fairmarket Antique Centre and $11,000 from Winks Hairdressing Salon.



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