As the Mail Exchange Hotel’s annual day out with drag queens becomes more fun, so too does the fundraising total for ovarian cancer grow.
The third event, held recently at the Bourke St venue, raised $62,725 – more than double the 2017 total.
Venue manager Nici Nicholson said “Lunch with the Queens” was successful because it was not dull or boring like many of the other charity functions.
“It’s definitely not ‘high tea’ where women sit around trying to be polite to each other, while secretly glancing at the clock,” she said.
“At our events, they don’t want to go home. They have a ball and, because it’s once a year and it’s for a great cause, we don’t mind them dancing on the tables!”
Some 180 guests attended the lunch on May 5. With the support of Hotel and Leisure Management and its five hotel venues, some $26,500 was raised for Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA). Many businesses were generous in their donations and support helping to raise a further $37,000 on the day through silent auctions, balloon prizes and raffles from guests who attended the lunch.
Ms Nicholson said ovarian cancer appeared to be the “poor relative” of the diseases when it came to public support and institutional philanthropy.
“Its symptoms are barely distinguishable from the discomforts that come from just being a woman,” she said. “So diagnosis is difficult. But if it’s not picked up, it has the lowest survival rate of all the cancers.”
“It’s our aim to get as many hotels as possible involved in fundraising efforts and all the fun that goes with the lunch by hosting their own event.”
Every day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three of those women are likely to die from it.
Hotel and Leisure Management director Mark Robertson said: “Ovarian cancer is a silent disease and the level of understanding about it is extremely low. To save the lives of Australian women, this needs to change.”
Meanwhile, the merry fundraisers are already asking if they can book in again for next year’s Lunch with the Queens and those who were left on the waiting list to attend will be sure to get their tickets early next year!
For more information, or even better – host a fundraiser – contact Nici Nicholson at [email protected]