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Ball raises big funds for mental health

By Mark Beale

THE Whitsundays helped to keep the “Black Dog” in his kennel at the weekend.

The inaugural Mayor’s Charity Masquerade Ball proved a stunning success, with locals turning out dressed in their best to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute.

Mayor Jennifer Whitney said the gala had fulfilled all expectations, raising more than $16,700 for the BDI – a not-for-profit world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness.

“The Whitsunday community showed me they were happy to dig deep for a good cause and I am proud that we will be able to present the Black Dog Institute with a significant donation for their organisation,” she said.

Aside from the cost of admission, a number of auctions helped bump the final figure a little bit higher with Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale working the hammer.

With prizes including a full day fishing trip, accommodation vouchers and dining gift cards, it’s not hard to see why the bidding brought such a big result.

Cr Whitney said it was thanks to all those involved that the event was such a success.

“It was a wonderful evening and I would like to thank the community, individual contributors and charity ball sponsors for their overwhelming support in raising money and awareness for mental health disorders,” she said.

“I would also like to give my sincere thanks to local businesses who donated their services and the range of raffle and auction prizes; without your generosity this night would not have been possible.

“Overall it was a fantastic evening focusing on a good cause.”

Special guest speaker Mark Beretta, a renowned Australian journalist and host of popular morning show Sunrise, spoke highly of the institute’s work, as well as touching on his career in the media.

Patrons also got a good laugh, with variety performer Daniel Gorski dazzling on stage.

Donations are still open and can be made by visiting give.everydayhero.com/au/mayors-charitymasquerade-ball.

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