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An Evening for Olivia

“An Evening for Olivia” at the Hellenic Club, Canberra on 11 September 2010 was an evening that few people will forget.    The sell out crowd of nearly 400, were deeply touched by the strength and determination of little 6 year old Olivia Lambert in her battle with the aggressive childhood cancer, neuroblastoma.   

Thorough the extraordinary generosity of the sponsors of the charity dinner and auction and the dinner guests who dug deep to bid for auction items, just over $100,000 was raised on the night for the Olivia Lambert Foundation.   

The foundation was established on 12 August 2010 to raise money to support Olivia and her family’s move to Germany for seven months to receive new antibody treatment in the hope that it will cure her of this disease.   Importantly, the foundation also serves the needs of supporting other Australain children suffering from neuroblastoma or other aggressive forms of cancer. 

Speaking first, Richard Hedges Olivia’s grandfather described Olivia’s journey since she was first diagnosed four years ago and the courage, determination and inspiration shown by Olivia and her mum Kirsty through the initial diagnosis and subsequent two relapses with this disease. He described how he and others close to the family who had shared this difficult journey had been taught a lesson in courage.  

Then in a letter read out by a close friend, Kirsty expressed her deepest heartfelt thanks for the Canberra community’s support of Olivia and her family.  She singled out two special young ladies, Natasha Vanzetti and Gess Mazis for their efforts in arranging the dinner and Peter Overton, Channel 9’s chief news reader and long time 60 Minutes reporter for making the journey to Canberra to be the guest speaker. The bond that Olivia’s family goes back to July 2008 when Peter reported the 60 minutes segment “Power of Love” on Olivia’s battle with neuroblastoma.   

The auctions were a great success and a big thanks to our Auctioneers Peter Walker from Peter Blackshaw Macquarie and Jason Roses from LJ Hooker Tuggeranong. We also had trouble closing off the silent auction with some very competitive bidding towards the end.

PicMe photobooths also attended and allowed our guests to get some great photos to take away. I must say it was quite fun seeing all the photos and heartfelt messages in the beautiful album that was put together to send to Olivia and her family.

Thanks again for all your support and I trust all who attended had a fabulous time!