The quilt by Elly Edgar, Quilter, Port Macquarie, a major prize in the Centipede raffle. (image: Janice Challinor)
The quilt by Elly Edgar, Quilter, Port Macquarie, a major prize in the Centipede raffle. (image: Janice Challinor)

Friends of Centipede catered for over 80 people at the Glebe Rowing Club premises on Friday 9 October at their annual fundraiser for Centipede. Guests were welcomed by the lively strains of music played by guitarists Daniel and Angus from Edema Ruh. It ranged from gentle ballads and old favourites to foot tapping takes on Django Reinhart and John Williams duets.

Once fed and watered folks were able to enter into the serious fun of the evening; by making their people’s choice entries in the Kidz Archies competition, where Centipede children’s self-portraits or portraits of famous people were judged. The winner was a lad named Jack, whose very colourful portrait appeared to be one of Ironman, but it could simply have been Jack himself. He gained a movie pass for himself and his mum, dad and a sibling.

Another activity was the Rolling Raffle, in which multiple draws were held intermittently throughout the evening, with the fifth ticket winning each prize. Prizes ranged from books provided by Gleebooks, through vinyl surprises / artworks on retired LPs to Indian scarves. Guests could gain additional chances by taking more tickets so that the last drawn and one of two major prizes, dinner for two at the The Boathouse Restaurant, was still available to all. The fortunate gentlemen who won it were doubly blessed when they outbid the room for 10 exercise classes of their choice at Life and Balance, Glebe.

Guest speaker Heather Goodall, long term Glebe resident, historian, author and Emeritus Professor at UTS reflected on her experiences living and working in Aboriginal communities within NSW and beyond. This included teaching at Tranby College in Glebe and researching at Ernabella in South Australia. While her career included so many other significant contributions to Australian history, it was her interest in education and the role of early support such as Centipede provides that featured on this night.

The highlights of the evening included the auction of some lifestyle opportunities such as three days at an AirB’n’B on the South Coast, tickets to Musica Viva, a facial / massage package and the drawing of the other major raffle prize, a queen-size hand-made quilt donated by Port Macquarie quilter Elly Edgar that was won by Dale Owens. Then there was the bottle of Moet, secured in the ‘gold coin lob’ by a dead-eye pitch that nicely ‘kissed’ the prize. No-one could better that!

Although Friends of Centipede is still receiving late applications for membership (its major source of funding) from people who were unable to make the Soirée, it is gratifying to learn that the Soirée realised over $6,480 nett with another $2,800 coming from the quilt raffle. It is therefore with much gratitude that organisers would like to thank all who attended and supported the venture, and give particular credit to this year’s sponsors: Elly Edgar, Quilter, Port Macquarie; The Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay; Centennial Hotel, Gulgong; Musica Viva, Michelle Smith and Sue McGilvray of Sea Mist, Gerringong; The Glebe Society Inc.; AB Hotel, Glebe; Glebe Rowing Club: Jason Kazanis, auctioneer; Elle Bache, Broadway Shopping Centre; Gleebooks, Glebe; Life and Balance Glebe; Captain Cook Cruises, and Galuzzo’s, Glebe. Special thanks go to Daniel and Angus of Edema Ruh for the Music and Professor Heather Goodall, guest speaker.

[Editor’s note: and a huge thank you to the humble Janice herself, who worked tirelessly to make the Sunset Soirée to such a success]