The Ireland Funds Australia held a Virtual Auction from Friday 5 to Friday 19 November, as we have been unable to host any in-person events since June of this year our main way of fundraising to support projects of impact across Ireland and Australia.
So, we adapted. Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, we were fortunate enough to gain access to some amazing auction items and once in a lifetime experience’s. On offer were 21 fabulous items with values ranging from $90 to $11,500.
Bidding was steady over the two weeks and came to an end on Friday 19 November –we celebrated by coming together to mix a cocktail or two albeit virtually, and to have some fun.
We heard from our Chairman Yvonne Le Bas who provided us with an update on the continued hard work of the Fund and the ways in which we have had to adapt over the past 18 months. Despite only being about to hold one face to face event in 20 months, we still produced an annual Grant Round in June 2021 of $361K to support <13 projects in Ireland and Australia.
Yvonne was so very pleased to advise that our grant round included $100k towards the Heart of the Community Fund for which the Ireland Funds raised $660k globally to assist 100 projects across the island of Ireland 65 in the South and 35 in the north. This was in direct respond to Covid 19 which saw communities around Ireland become more isolated than ever before.
Yvonne shared The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community video with us which shows the incredible work of the Fund and is a heart-warming reminder of the difference we can make.
We then had the absolute pleasure of welcoming the new Irish Ambassador to Australia H.E. Tim Mawe as well as our new Consul General Rosie Keane, we really enjoyed hearing from them both and very much look forward to working with them.
Next we welcomed Ciara Doran the owner of the newly launched Frank Mac’s Gin and Cocktail Bar in the Rocks, Sydney. Ciara shared some of the challenges the venue faced opening during 2021. We were then introduced to mixologist Ari who demonstrated the venues secrets to making a perfect Tom Collins and Whiskey Sour.
One of the things that we all love about The Ireland Funds is the way our events bring people together and being unable to hold in-person events is a reality we all face right now. However, we hope our virtual event brought those who joined us a bit of the fun and magic that happens when we get together, to connect and have fun, all whilst giving back.
COVID-19 has brought many challenges and tremendous learnings. We know that the pandemic has widened the gap within society and that we must all stand together to work towards helping those that need us most.
From the bottom of our hearts we thank our sponsors our event wouldn’t have been possible without their generosity, thank you to Charles Curran AC, Glen Dimplex Australia, The Star, Miriam Innes, Morphy Richards, Belling, EOS by Skycity, Verve Portraits, The Toukley Boathouse, Frank Mac’s, The Doss House, Australian Turf Club, Gallagher Hotels, Damien Leith, PJ O’Brien’s, Creed Perfume, Berami Pines Retreat and The Mercantile Hotel.
Thank you to everyone who bid in our auction and congratulations to the highest bidders! A huge thank you as well to everyone who pledged donations on the night. So far we have managed to raise more than $27K and counting.
Here’s to 2022, we are so much looking forward to seeing everyone in person and in particular at our 35th Anniversary Black Tie Gala Dinner on Thursday 17 March 2022 at The Star in Sydney.
Very best wishes,
The Ireland Funds Australia