A Melbourne Cup fundraising luncheon held in Brisbane earlier this month raised over $15,000 for the Good Sams Foundation, which supports outreach projects operated by the Good Samaritan Sisters throughout Australia and overseas.
The fundraising luncheon, co-ordinated by Good Samaritan Sister Mary Randle, was held at Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Bulimba, where Mary is the pastoral associate.
“It’s gone from strength to strength,” said Mary, speaking about the Melbourne Cup luncheon, which she and the Sisters of the Lourdes Hill community have organised for several years now.
Mary paid tribute to “the wonderful people of Saints Peter and Paul” for their support of the event which this year attracted 135 guests, including parishioners from Bulimba, Wynnum and Camp Hill, parents of students at Saints Peter and Paul’s Primary School, and a group of “Red Hat Ladies”, women aged 50-plus who are known for their support of good causes while also having a good time.
Mary also acknowledged the many people behind the scenes who worked to make the event a success. “The day was a great celebration of generous people giving and receiving,” she said.
Having recently finished a sabbatical, which included time with Good Samaritan Sisters in Kiribati and on Palm Island, Mary said she felt “fired up” to co-ordinate the event and to do what she could to support the “fabulous work” of the Sisters.
“I am spurred on because our nuns are doing the hard yards… And I think there’s something we can do, a little bit we can do here in Australia.”
According to Sarah Fraser O’Brien, Good Sams Foundation Executive Manager, the annual Melbourne Cup fundraising event symbolises what can be achieved by teamwork. “Everyone pitches in to help and the positive vibe on the day is infectious,” she said.
“I thoroughly enjoy the Melbourne Cup event in Bulimba. It’s grown organically over the years. It’s a credit to Sister Mary Randle and her team – very professional and always a lot of fun.”
For Sarah, grassroots events like these are “vital” to the Foundation. “In 2013, our goal is to raise over $400,000 for the Foundation. The only way we can do this is by support from many sources.”
Sarah said one such initiative being promoted at the moment is the Foundation’s 2012 Christmas Appeal wine fundraising drive. With each case of wine or gift pack purchased through the Foundation’s fundraising partner, Prospect Wines, a percentage of the sale will be directed to the Foundation’s appeal.
Sarah said all funds raised through the appeal will be distributed to Good Samaritan ministries in Australia and overseas, including the Indigenous community of Santa Teresa near Alice Springs, the Good Samaritan Inn in Melbourne, the transitional accommodation program for women in Brisbane, the Good Samaritan Early Childhood Centre in Kiribati and the Good Samaritan Kinder School in the Philippines.