The petals have been swept up, our bespoke flowered gates have closed, but the impact you made at Botanica will certainly be a lasting one. Our target was $1.5 million, and thanks to the generosity of our supporters we’ve left this goal in our dust. In 2017, you helped us raise a massive $1.8 million for type 1 diabetes research – our highest grossing Gala series ever!
Each state’s execution of Botanica was unique to its venue, but equal in wow factor. We incorporated each state’s native floral emblem within the theme and design, leveraging Australia’s own natural heritage.
Across the six Galas nationwide, more than 1,200 guests were wined, dined, entertained, and then opened their purses and wallets to give generously. An inspiring Fund A Cure guest speaker from our type 1 community spoke at each event, from 5-year old Zoe in Melbourne stealing the show in a Logie-winning performance (more on that soon), to Olivia Carter in Brisbane, who reduced grown men to tears.
Here are the best of the best highlights from each Botanica Gala:
- Botanica was South Australia’s second-ever Gala event.
- The major raffle of a $5,000 Bunnik Tours travel voucher sold out during the evening, raising $7,500 alone.
- We were honoured with the presence of the Senator, the Hon Simon Birmingham, and one of our JDRF-funded lead researchers Dr Jenny Couper.
- The room overlooked the iconic Story Bridge, which unwittingly delivered the goods, decked out in purple lights which reflected upon the Brisbane River.
- Hon Jennifer Howard MP, spoke engagingly, which culminated in a contribution of $10,000 from the Queensland State Government.
- Canberra’s first ever Gala really came alive during the live auction, with a signed bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut from the personal cellar of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attracting big bids.
- TV personality and Australia’s favourite handyman Rob Palmer, a welcome fixture at Canberra JDRF events, entertained the crowds and worked the room with live auction prizes.
- Comedian Joel Creasey proved sassy and hilarious as MC, leaving the whole room in stitches.
- We achieved our highest Melbourne fundraising result in the past five years.
- Actor Samuel Johnson surprised us with a signed Molly Meldrum hat which raised $9000 in the Live Auction. Samuel also jumped up to present Zoe with his Gold Logie during her Fund A Cure segment.
- Our largest event attracted more than 630 guests and to break a new JDRF Gala fundraising record with $771,000 raised!
- Eddie McGuire did a stellar job as the event’s MC, raising the star power of the room.
- The WA Ballet performed a beautiful piece and Deputy Premier Roger Cook spoke as a proud parent of 19-year old daughter with type 1 diabetes.
- Special guest, JDRF International Chair, Mark Fischer-Colbrie, joined us in Sydney to give a stirring research update.
- Celebrity chef and guest Colin Fassnidge jumped on stage to spontaneously offer two private dinners for eight to the highest bidders. These went for a cool $38,000.
We’d like to thank all our guests of Botanica in 2017. Your generosity and support have floored us, and those all-important dollars will make such an impact on the landscape of type 1 diabetes research.
Thank you to each and every one of our table sponsors, who we are proud to recognise below:
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Chamberlains Law Firm
AFG Home Loans
Australian Capital Equity
Inline Engineering Services
Matrix Composites and Engineering
New Age Caravans (Holden Special Vehicles)
Portfolio Housing Group Pty Ltd
Thrifty Bathrooms and Plumbing