Each year the journalists from the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery and the politicians they cover, get together for a black tie knees-up, The Midwinter Ball, before Parliament takes its winter break.
Fundraising aspects of the night included the auctioning of such things as dinner with Prime Minister Julia Gillard which fetched an impressive $12,600—narrowly beaten for top honours by the $13,000 bid for dinner with senior Liberals Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull. An unknown bidder spent $4050 to be able to keep warm in a scarf knitted by Ms Gillard!
This year the Midwinter Ball raised funds for six charities including, wonderfully, SpinalCure. On 24 July SpinalCure Director Duncan Adams and CEO Duncan Wallace visited Parliament House in Canberra, for the presentation of the donations.
Crisp winter sunshine shone on Parliament House lighting the spectacular view from the forecourt, across the lake, to the War Memorial and Mt Ainslie beyond. Even though Parliament was on it’s break the halls were still busy with several school outings and other visitors.
Representatives from the charities were met by David Speers, President of the Press Gallery, along with Katherine Morrell and Paul Donahue from BDW Special Events, the organisers of the Midwinter Ball. Once signed in they were led through to the press offices. Here, high on the wall, is an unobtrusive white button. David Speers reached up to push it, sounding a bell which caused journalists to pour out of their offices to find out what important announcement was about to be made – most no doubt hoping that a date had been set for the election! With the Press Gallery gathered, Mr Speers presented cheques to each of the charities so generously supported by the 2013 Midwinter Ball.
The total raised was an outstanding $305,000 and SpinalCure is honoured to have received a donation of $100,000.
Our heartfelt thanks go to all at the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.