We were very excited to welcome more than 180 guests to our TAKE TWO #webelievehappyhelps cocktail party earlier this month, having had to postpone the original event because it fell during Melbourne’s snap five-day lockdown in February.  Spirits were heightened and guests fed back that the party was our best yet!

The #webelievehappyhelps cocktail party usually coincides with International Childhood Cancer Day each year, around 15 February.  We enjoy recognizing the support provided by Koala Kids volunteers, corporate and program partners, hospitals, major donors, student ambassadors and friends of the Foundation.  This year provided a wonderful opportunity for us all to reconnect, many of us having only seen each other on Zoom since the last party just before lockdown in 2020.  Even though guests couldn’t meet at the ham table, there was an exciting and happy buzz in the air as the various people responsible for Koala Kids gingerbread, socks and family meals mingled with lunch hostesses, corporate partners, photographers and videographers.  

More than 20 volunteers clad in Koala Kids t-shirts mixed and served Koala Kids traditional happy cocktail, Aperol Spritz and passed around baby ham rolls, chicken sandwiches and dumplings, COVID safely of course!

Amanda Mandie OAM Koala Kids voluntary executive director proudly explained to guests that despite the massive challenges faced by businesses globally during 2020, Koala Kids had proven its ability to “adapt to the changing landscape and subsequently enjoy a year where we strengthened our position as a major supporter of children and young people with cancer and increased the awareness for our services for families affected by paediatric cancer.” 

Mandie referred to the findings of an independent survey conducted by IMO Analytics with 100 families with children with cancer late last year revealing Koala Kids net promoter score of 95 – proving families are extremely satisfied with Koala Kids support and in particular the programs and activities offered during the pandemic.  

Annie Moulden, director of Koala Kids acknowledged the particularly generous and long-standing support of Koala Kids Foundation Partner Korjo Travel Goods, welcoming Ashley Kausman and Lisa Mann.  In a particularly tough year for the travel industry, Korjo’s support of Koala Kids hasn’t wavered.

Koala Kids would like to express warmest thanks to ULR Jaguar Land Rover for hosting the event again in the wonderful showroom space and for the team’s incredible support in the lead up to and during the night. Thank you to Treat Catering for providing delicious catering and Frog Hollow Estate some of the wines. Each year we are extremely fortunate that Purpose Group is able to provide pro bono AV support and Slide Productions fabulous furniture which fits so well with our Koala Kids orange! Thank you Tiger Corp and Simmons Linen Hire and each and every single one of the 22 volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure our guests enjoyed themselves.  A massive thank you to Michael Bottomer (Life through a Lens) and Kosta Pinirou who respectively photographed and recorded the event. We were extremely fortunate to secure the support of the very professional Ben McGinn to manage the bar service and Rhonda Kruize, Koala Kids events intern enjoyed her first real-life experience on the job and was a great assistance to Jess Bucci who executed another great event.