An exceptionally beautiful Spring day set the scene for the 2022 Stars in the Garden event. With event restrictions no longer a determining factor, this annual luncheon returned to its rightful home in the garden of hosts, Mrs Melanie Champion de Crespigny AM and Mr Robert Champion de Crespigny AC.
300 guests gathered to enjoy the Italian-themed event, beginning with standing aperitifs and canapes, and informal mingling amongst old friends. Solitaire Automotive and their swoon-worthy backdrop of Italian and European motor vehicles evoked visions of zooming along the Italian coast, further enhanced by the opportunity to win a 14-night Lake Como getaway in the event’s lottery.
Later, seated amongst décor of olive leaves and citrus, guests enjoyed a beautiful lunch from ‘Out in the Paddock’ and enjoyed premium beverages from the delectable Maxwell Wines. Guest speaker, Noel Pearson, was particularly thought-provoking and Youth Opportunities program graduate, Hayley, truly articulated the importance of Youth Opportunities and the need for donors to continue supporting the event and the organisation more broadly.
A most successful live auction, hosted by Bernard Booth, set the pace for the day’s fundraising, and in combination with the silent auction, lottery, and giving pledge, we are beyond thrilled to report that our ever-generous guests contributed over $910,000.
This event continues to grow in reputation and significance to Youth Opportunities. We are particularly grateful to have the support of joint Presenting Partners, Thomson Geer and Taylor Collison. Annually, Stars in the Garden is Youth Opportunities’ single largest fundraising event and its importance in sustaining our programs and services cannot be understated.
To give insight into the transformative benefits a young person will derive from having access to, and graduating from, a Youth Opportunities program graduate, Hayley, shared her personal story with guests. She shared the ways she was able to make positive choices to improve her life, and how Youth Opportunities empowered her to recognise her worth to forge her own future.
“Without the tools I learnt in Youth Opportunities, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Their guidance, their words of encouragement, their shoulders for me to cry on, the concepts, all helped me become a better version of myself. During the Personal Leadership Program, I set myself challenges each week to overcome situations and to increase my self-esteem and confidence. I reframed my self-talk, focused on my strengths, and reduced the harmful and unhelpful comparisons that I was making. Youth Opportunities taught me that loving yourself and believing in your strengths and abilities to succeed are the best skills to have in life.”
Freshly-piped cannoli and gelato, enjoyed with live accordion music, rounded out this wonderful but most importantly, successful, fundraising event for another year.
The Youth Opportunities team is thankful to have the support of its many sponsors, guests, and event partners, and particularly acknowledges the work of the event committee who work to bring this event and its community together.