This was the third year Terri has hosted the Christmas in July Networking Event in support of Dolly’s Dream, and it’s something she would like to keep running in the future. “I’ve already started talking to businesses about plans for the Christmas in July 2024 event, says Terri.
“Our daughter was bullied at school and was born around the same time as Dolly. Kate was my neighbour for many years when we were kids, and we went to the same primary school.
Being a kid from the country who also went away to boarding school, home was always my safe and happy place. It hit me really hard to learn that the effect of bullying on Dolly meant that she chose to end her own life when she was at home on holidays, physically removed from her bullies, yet they still managed to influence her so strongly. Helping to raise funds so Kate and Tick can create the change we all need to see is a no-brainer for me.
We held a Christmas in July themed dinner designed to bring people together so they could catch up with existing friends, meet new people and extend their own communities. The 3-course Christmas Banquet was so good!
Three businesses came on board as sponsors. One was a local artist (Alex Stalling from Tinker) who did a live painting at the event, which was then auctioned later in the night. We also had an event photographer there (Kat Lynn from Sonny and Kat Photography) who was roaming around taking photos, as well as having a photo wall set up for people to take photos of themselves with their friends. Our third sponsor, Michelle Smith from Michelle Claire Coaching, was instrumental in getting many more people excited about the event, and her sponsorship meant we could make a much larger donation to Dolly’s Dream for the event. We ended up with three items auctioned at the event and 25 prizes in the multi-draw raffle. Every one of these was donated by a business. So, each of those businesses got a proportionate shoutout during the event to thank them for their support, and anyone who was particularly generous on the evening was given a blue balloon to tie to their chair so we could all acknowledge them.
We had a really lovely evening with 44 people attending the event. So many conversations were happening in the room that getting everyone’s attention when I needed it was hard – so I call that a huge success! And we raised a decent amount of money to help Dolly’s Dream.”