Holdfast, or don't hold at all!

Blog of Kip McGrath Education Centres - Holdfast Bay

Adelaide Rising

February 05
by Annie 5. February 2014 12:04



Just in case anyone wants to know how I used my spare time during the holidays…

As some of you will know, last year I attended the screening of an amazing and inspiring film called Girl Rising, which is themed around the challenges girls face around the world when trying to access what we consider a basic right: education. I was so moved by the film that I decided to help spread the word and invite a few like-minded friends around to our home for a small, private screening.

Long story short, Facebook, word-of-mouth and encouraging words from friends soon had Mark and I on a course towards the charity event we held on Friday 24th of January at Flinders University, which was attended by more than 200 people and raised more than $5,000! 

Of course, the journey wasn’t as easy as that and I devoted a fair amount of speech time on the night to thanking all of the wonderful people, including parents of students, who made the event possible. This included donated prizes for the raffle, assistance with organising the event and volunteers on the night to man (or woman!) the bar, spruik raffle tickets and organise the parking. It was a truly uplifting evening that once again affirmed our belief that the majority of people, given the chance, will act for the greater good.

This was no more evident than when I raised a last minute call-to-action from the podium. Our original target was $3,000, which would have sent 2 girls to school through high school. When we moved past this figure and $4,000 came in to view and with it the chance to send 3 girls to school, Mark and I decided to donate the full cost of all of the wine and other drinks, if our audience would dig in to their pockets again and chip in $2 each.

We sent a student to each exit door armed with a bucket, and in 5 minutes those lovely people donated another $500! Of course, this meant we were now closer to $5,000 than $4,000, so another bugle call via Facebook and we hit that mark as well, completely overwhelming our sponsored charity, Room to Read, when they heard the news.

What do people remember most from the night, apart from the film of course? They all commented on our wonderful students, who seemed to be everywhere at the same time, all wearing our trademark safety cones on their heads. There is no question that without them our evening would have been far less successful, so well done you mad lot for showing us all how it’s done!

Our audience was equally memorable, with ages ranging from 10 right through to 86, the latter being my dear old Dad, who quite enjoyed himself and kept flinging $10 and $20 donations in buckets, quite something for a careful-with-the-pennies ex bank manager!

And what has happened since then? Well, apart from raising money, the event was also intended to raise awareness of the plight of girls around the world, and I am pleased to report that I have had enquiries from a number of individuals and schools about holding their own events. The more this important message spreads, the more girls will globally will get access to the education they need to break the poverty cycle, and that is good for them and good for us. 

By the way, apologies to anyone who was confused by what Mark and I actually do (a number of them thought that we organised charity events for a living!). Although we sponsored the night, it just didn’t feel right, to either of us, to spruik ourselves when we were dealing with such important issues. In fact, all of our lovely sponsors were pretty low key. Well, that is until we started shouting their names across the room that is!

If anyone wants to find out more about this hugely important campaign, please head to www.girlrising.com  As Adelaidians we are immensely proud of the support shown on the night by our community. Thank you. Back to work now for a rest!



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