Inaugural Melbourne “Best Things in Life” Dinner

Thursday, 17 October 2013 Posted in Past Events, 2013

Our inaugural Melbourne “Best Things in Life” corporate fundraising dinner was co-hosted by Dan Murphy’s and Myer on Tuesday 15th October. Myer Mural Hall was the stunning backdrop for the event and it felt like stepping back in time to the 1930’s.

270 guests attended the dinner and their enthusiastic support led to a palpable buzz in the room. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Dan Murphy’s, Myer and all the companies who bought tables, made donations, donated/won prizes in the live and silent auction, a profit of more than $230,000 was raised. It is a staggering amount and far exceeded expectations and hopes. Those attending the dinner would be delighted to know that they won the friendly competition with Sydney to raise the most amount of money, exceeding the Sydney dinner by $30,000.

Entertainment was provided by Miss Murphy of ‘The Voice’ fame – who lived up to her reputation as an incredible singer. The Sophie Louise Trio also performed while meals were being served.

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  • The beautiful Myer Mural Hall was the venue for the Foundations inaugural Melbourne dinner.

  • Some of the many "live auction" items on the night.

  • Guests were very supportive of the silent auction.

  • Foundation Co-founder & Chair Caroline Kelly's welcome speech gave us an insight into her personal life with Avner and updated us on the Foundation initiatives and future directions.

  • Martin Smith, GM of Dan Murphy's, shared with us the story of initiating the inaugural Melbourne dinner and thanked the many companies and individuals for making it a success.

  • CEO of Myer, Bernie Brookes, in his address paid a special tribute to his former work colleague and friend Avner.

  • The guests enjoyed a performance from Ms Murphy & Co.

  • Auctioneer Andrew Caillard in his element during the "live" auction.

  • The "live" auction had the guests attention.

  • The MC for the night, Channel 7's Rebecca Maddern, and Caroline Kelly were all smiles after a successful night.

Caroline told the personal story of Avner’s diagnosis and eventual passing to Pancreatic Cancer. She explained the stark statistics faced by those diagnosed as well as the investments being made by the Foundation to support research with the aim of improving outcomes for patients. Martin Smith spoke about the Foundation programs and Bernie Brookes relayed stories of the times Avner worked for him and the friendship that developed.

Andrew Caillard was absolutely superb as the auctioneer on the night and ensured the maximum was achieved from the live auction.

Planning the dinner was a massive undertaking for Dan Murphy’s and Myer and we extend our sincere thanks to Martin and Bernie for supporting it and committing the time to it.

The team that pulled it altogether and helped out on the night enabling it to be the success it was:

Dan Murphy’s: Yolanda Uys, Campbell Stott, Tony Titheridge, Andrew Caillard, Red Jelly, Lana Black and Laura Burnham from Willett. Myer: Marian Milne, Adam Jacka, Anthea Konstantilakis, Barbara Nash Avner’s Foundation: Lynne Umbers, Alex Nicholson, Peter Russell, Catherine Nicholson, Irene Allison.

Thanks also to Wellcom for printing all materials for the dinner.

We thank the generous companies listed below for making Melbourne’s inaugural “Best Things in Life”, the best!

Aegis, Airmaster, ALH Group, AMP, Amtek, Australian Vintage Limited, Aztec Australia, Badjar Ogilvy, Beak A La Carte, Brown-Forman Australia, Carlton & United Breweries, Casella Wines, Coca-Cola Amatil, Dan Murphy’s, Drinkworks, Elle MacPherson Intimates, Fairfax Media, Grant Burge Wines, Ikon Communications, ISPT, L'Oréal Australia, Lion, beer, Spirits and Wine, Moët & Chandon, Myer, Negociants Australia, News Corp. Australia, PepsiCo, Pernod Ricard, Pinnacle Liquor Group, Red Jelly, Salmat, Samuel Smith & Son, Sealy of Australia, Treasury Wine Estates, Vittoria Coffee, W.M. Ritchie, Warburn Estate, Wellcom Group.

 Check out the Photo Gallery from the night too.