IT WAS a stellar turnout for the first ever Black Dog Ball – a night to not only dress up, but also raise awareness of an important issue, mental health.
The ball was held at Paradise Lagoons on Saturday October 12 to coincide with Mental Health Week.
MC Russell Hughes reminded the 320 guests of the prominence of mental illness, with depression affecting one in seven people at some stage of their life.
Guests were privileged to listen to Makhala Swinson’s private account of her struggle and then recovery from a mental illness.
“Don’t dismiss people acting differently as something they’ll grow out of or attention seeking. If people are calling out for help, the chances are they need it,” Makhala said.
Patron of the Ball, Graeme Acton, said it is our responsibility to let those who suffer mental illness know that we are there.
Melbourne comedian Dave O’Neil lifted spirits with jokes about hair care in the ‘70s and ‘80s, a Mummy look versus a Daddy look and how much bigger deal birth would be if men did it.
Guests were up on their feet late into the night thanks to entertainment from up-and-coming singer-songwriter, 16-year-old Sophie Rose, Mackay band Hot! Hot! Hot! and one guest who did an excellent rendition of Kenny Roger’s The Gambler.
Mark Simpson, Ray White Rural Biloela, was auctioneer extraordinaire, with more than $11,000 raised in the charity auction, which included a service from Australian champion sprinter Falvelon, generously donated by Glenlogan Park.
Almost $3,000 was also raised in a multi-draw raffle on the night.
The Black Dog committee, which was entirely comprised of volunteers with no executive roles, and decorator Wendy Harris put in an immense effort, which paid off on the night.
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