Sun setting over the Harbour as the evening begins

Thursday 8 February 2018 will always remain a red-letter day for me. We launched Walking The Black Dog at Cranbrook School. The evening could not have been more beautiful .. balmy weather, perfect views across a sparkling Sydney Harbour, laid-back, funky music played by the Cranbrook Jazz Combo and then .. 140 friends, all there to offer their warm and generous support. The positive vibe was practically tangible.

Cranbrook Jazz Combo


Convivial banter before the dinner begins

There were auctions .. silent and live .. which featured wonderfully generous donations. A raffle with fab prizes. Engaging speeches by the Waratahs doc, Sharron Flahive and Olympian Ed Fernon. And of course, a game .. can’t have a function without a game, in my book. Especially when the prize is a couple of tickets to the world-famous Sydney Skinny!

Drawings for sale .. one for every day of the walk


Briefing before the show ..

We were kept entertained by the exuberant MC, Nigel Marsh and towards the end of the evening Rhino Ray extorted a fab $12k with his expert auctioneering. Our menu was inspired by the Land’s End to John o’Groats route .. Cornish crab, Chicken Tikka Masala (national dish of UK) and Cranachan with Glenmorangie. And we were spoiled with top class wines donated by the wonderful Langtons, and dear friends Brad and Anna.

The Governor’s Ballroom was the elegant setting


Drinks on Cranbrook verandah

I threw in my tuppence worth after I’d been introduced by our son. Of course he took the micky but then made me cry with his beautiful words.

Gus striking a balance between poking fun and delivering the real message


Tearing up ..

But the whole evening would never have worked without the band of amazing volunteers who worked tirelessly and with a sensational sense of fun to pull off the event. Too many to mention by name, they were all wonderful and so many of the emails I received after the event, remarked on what an impressive bunch they were. A couple of them even received job offers! I can’t thank them enough.

Some of the fab volunteer team

My own friends .. you know who you are .. touched me deeply with their help and support during all the prep for the evening; both on the day and for many months before. You are so special.

Jane managing to keep her feet on the ground with the gigantic balloons


Setting up the entrance with dogs and balloons to the launch of Walking The Black Dog


My walking buddy looking glamorous


And so to the big question .. how much did we end up raising?? Well, the answer is somewhere in the realm of $50,000. How about that! I was amazed and thrilled. The Black Dog Institute will receive the money this week.

Thank you to everyone for playing their part and for making such a significant difference to a cause which affects almost everyone, one way or another.