Chrysalis Ball Impressions

Last week, it was finally time for The Butterfly Foundation’s annual Sydney fundraiser, the Chrysalis Ball. Doltone House had been decked out with blue touches and butterflies everywhere, a dancefloor and big screens displaying the items in the silent auction. Centrepiece was a stage which Glenn Wheeler commanded on the night. Amidst all that glamour, my night started a little less glamourous. Sitting on a bin in the ladies’, I had my hair and make-up done by the wonderful Carmelle Coleman. Not exactly the high point of the night but actually a very relaxing start, as Carmelle and I chatted away about everything and anything. The finished product (hair and make-up) was nothing shot of showstopping – but my bum was a little sore and date and designated driver David Cameron a touch disgruntled after spending over an hour waiting for me to get ready. Thankfully, there would be no more waiting for the night and plenty of laughter instead.

Enter Doltone House

Entering the venue, the charity’s volunteers and Doltone House staff shared the guests’ cheerful mood and from the moment we sat down at our table (to the left in the above pic), we were engaged in conversation with our fellow diners who had their own interesting stories to share.

Speeches by founder Claire Vickery and CEO Christine Morgan were so engaging, they actually gave me goosebumps. While everyone was having a good time at the ball, they reminded us why we were here. To raise awareness for eating disorders, change the status quo and make sure there are treatment options for sufferers. Claire’s story of how she  decided to found the charity in 2002 after battling her two daughters’ eating disorders, pushing through with her idea despite little support, was inspiring and, I think, it gave everyone at the ball hope. If Butterfly has come this far in less than ten years, it can go anywhere. The personal stories that were shared on stage and at the tables were inspiring and heartwarming. It’s not a topic that gets talked about in a positive way very often. Here, the good stories were abundant.

A surprise performance by The Justice Crew offered some lighthearted entertainment and set the mood for the dancefloor a little while later.

Sol at auction

But first it was time for my own performance, when MC Glenn Wheeler came to item number 3 in the live auction. Walking the large room in my donated Mr K dress and Autore pearl drop earrings, I was caught up in conversation at the opposite side of the hall when the bidding war erupted back near my table. Lucky I could leg it in my leather sandals and wasn’t wearing high heels! Jumping between the two highest bidders’ tables, while trying to look elegant and sell the dress at the same time, I was glad I could contribute in my own way to the auction. Not that I’ve ever particularly liked the attention you get parading around (you just gotta bury that slight panic – about straps sliding off your shoulders, heels breaking or stumbling over  some cable – right at the back of your mind) but when you’re engaging with the audience, it can be good fun.

The band got the dancefloor going in no time. (I’m sure it was due to plenty of endorphins flowing thanks to the elation of bidding – after a few glasses of champaign, our table got drawn in to the interactive silent auction like moths to a flame.) Young and old formed a conga line led by one of the musicians and when the chain broke, the dancefloor was alive. My agent Chelsea from Bella Models stole the limelight rocking out to the jazzy tunes.

Chelsea rocks it

It was a great end to a fabulous night. Remains to say, I’d like to thank everyone who donated items to the auction at my request and helped in the lead-up:

Peter Morrissey, Schiavi, Misoh, BeGenki, Sheereen Khan, Bella Models, Mr K, Manly Daily, Liz McDougall, Stewart Wauchop, David Cameron, Carmelle Coleman, Julie Parker, Faye De Lanty, Mary Orenstein, Julie York, Lucy Jackson, Chelsea Bonner and Notebook.

All photos are by Aundray Cheam, check out his blog for more wonderful impressions from the night.

I look forward to working with all of you and hopefully many more in the near future. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Lastly, here’s the resulting Sunday Telegraph snippet. Thanks Elle and Ros.

Sunday Telegraph

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