9th Annual Sydney “Best Things In Life Dinner” for Pancreatic Cancer

Friday, 18 August 2017 Posted in Past Events, 2017

Our annual Sydney "Best Things in Life" dinner was held on Wednesday, July 26 once again in the stunning Ivy Ballroom. The dinner was again generously co-hosted by our corporate partners, Woolworths and Coca-Cola Amatil. We were delighted to also welcome our governors and friends of the Foundation. This hugely successful dinner raised more than $160,000 after costs!

It is hard to believe, but this dinner in Sydney has been held annually 9 times and has raised more than $2,100,000 (after costs) for Pancreatic Cancer research! We are incredibly grateful for all those who have contributed to that fantastic amount over the years.

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  • The 9th Annual 'Best Things in Life' Dinner underway.

  • Channel 7's News Anchor Mark Ferguson was once again our MC for the night.

  • Foundation Board member Paul Whittingham, shared his story of losing his dad to Pancreatic Cancer.

  • The night well underway.

  • Some of our dinner guests enjoying the night.

  • Mark Ferguson, interviewed Caroline and our Scientific Advisor, Associate Professor Nick Pavlakis.

  • More of our lovely guests enjoying the evening.

  • The room was entertained by comedian, Des Dowling.

  • Our Auctioneer and initial MC on the night was Tamara, who also officiated at the Melbourne dinner.

  • Our Co-founder and Director Caroline Kelly with Associate Professor Nick Pavlakis.

  • And the evening fun continued.

The evening was opened by Tamara, our auctioneer from Langton’s in Melbourne. Tamara was also our auctioneer from the Melbourne dinner. We were so impressed by her energy and passion for the Foundation that we invited her to not only be our auctioneer in Sydney but also open the evening while we waited for our MC, Mark Ferguson, to join us after reading the Channel 7 news.

A very special thank you to our Avner’s Foundation director, Paul, for sharing his story of losing his dad to Pancreatic Cancer. It is only through these stories that we can connect to the devastating effects that this disease has on families. It was wonderful to have Paul’s mother at the dinner as well so she could experience first hand what the Foundation is doing to raise funds to help fight Pancreatic Cancer.

This year the funds generated from the dinner are all going to support one of the Foundation’s most innovative research projects, Australia’s first Pancreatic Cancer Organoid Bank. To help explain this initiative, and what it means in terms of Pancreatic Cancer treatment our MC, Mark Ferguson, interviewed Caroline and our Scientific Advisor, Associate Professor Nick Pavlakis about the organoid program and also the workings of the Scientific Advisory Panel. This insightful interview explained clearly how important this program is for the future of Pancreatic Cancer outcomes.

The room was then entertained by comedian, Des Dowling, who certainly livened up the room and set the tone for the live auction.

For the first time a raffle was held during the evening with our lucky winner winning a week in a penthouse suite at the Chiva Resort, in Surin Bay, Phuket. The raffle proved to be so popular that we were struggling to keep up with ticket sales!

A very big thank you to Agnew Wines who donated 120 bottles of their Cockfighter’s Ghost “The Legend” wine to the Foundation to sell at the dinner.

Tamara did a wonderful job of ensuring that the maximum was raised for our amazing auction prizes offered on the night.

Again, we must thank Mark Ferguson for giving up his time to MC this event. He truly is a professional in all respects and has such a deep passion and understanding of the Foundation.

This event has been organised for the last 9 years by Scott Eames and Donna Patchett from Woolworths. Without their dedication and organisational skills the Sydney dinner would not be the success it is.

Thank you also to all the volunteers that helped out on the night - Lisa Manzo, Maysoon El-Ahmed, Louise Culbert, Sam O’Brien and Megan Fraser.

The night was captured perfectly by Michael Mannington from Volunteer Photography.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the dinner, who donated prizes and to everyone who bought raffle tickets, wine, silent auction and auction prizes on the night and for the continued support of the “Best Things In Life” dinners;

Woolworths Limited, Coca-Cola Amatil, Wellcom Group, Inghams Enterprises, Quantium, Hollard Insurance, ANZ, Goodman Fielder, Blackhawk Network, Vittoria Coffee, Parmalat, Labelmakers, Perfection Fresh, Toll Global Logistics, Fleetplus, Beak & Johnston, Rubicor Group, Pepsico, Visa, Unilever, PMP, and Traffic.