600 and counting

10.10.12 | Posted in General

This week’s a special week for my family. My darling grandfather will head into the Sydney Blood Bank, sit in a chair, talk to the nurses he’s known for years, and give his 600th blood donation.

My Poppy’s a special guy. At 80 years young he still does Meals on Wheels two days a week, driving and delivering food to the ‘oldies’; volunteers every Tuesday at the Maritime Museum working on the old boats (he was a boatbuilder by trade) and every Saturday volunteers again and takes groups out on Sydney Harbour on the tall ships. He still walks with his friends every morning and has been to more Sydney Business Chicks breakfasts than I have (I missed one while on my honeymoon but he was there!).

I suppose Poppy taught me about serving others, and on Saturday night I had an opportunity to make him proud. I’m travelling to Uganda next month for the Business Chicks Immersion and Leadership Project to witness the work of The Hunger Project (THP) there. In order to do this, each member has to raise at least $10,000 for THP and fund their own travel expenses, and collectively Business Chicks has now raised more than $330,000 for them.

So on Saturday night I held a gala dinner. It was an intimate’ish affair (by Business Chicks standards!) of about 100 of my friends and family who outdid themselves bidding on auction items and glamming up with their black tie outfits. Emma Louise Birdsall from The Voice entertained the crowd and Sandra Sully was our emcee (she’ll also host the next Business Chicks event which is a lunch with guest speaker Diane von Furstenberg) – she was superb. Altogether we raised $27,875.43, woot! Enjoy the pics and a big thanks to everyone who supported the event, including the amazing Business Chicks team (some of whom are pictured here.) Some of the BC team2


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  1. Blythe Rowe

    Amazing stuff Em! Your poppy sounds very inspirational …that put such a smile pn my face….and How proud he must be of his grand daughter! Keep up the awesome work and can’t wait to hear how the Uganda trip goes! Cheers B

  2. Cheryl Leong

    What a great role model to have and more importantly to learn from and act on. Incredible work with your fund raising efforts Emma and the Business Chicks team. It’s always such a rewarding experience to be able to contribute to causes where you know the funds will have a huge impact and make a change.

    On this day – International Day of the Girl – let’s really encourage each other in doing something today that will make a difference, as you ladies have, to someone’s life.

    Have a great one

  3. Tina Tower

    Well done Em and Emma’s Poppy! What an inspiration.
    Can’t wait to be with you and the other Business Chicks and THP next month.

  4. Lisa Messenger

    Ems – such a gorgeous heartwarming story. Don’t you love grandfathers. Mine was my absolute hero and mentor as well. Yours sounds like an absolute superstar!!!! Can see where you get your gorgeous spirit from xxx

  5. Emma

    Grandfathers are the best! I feel grateful every day still to have one of mine so involved in my life (and my kids’ life – both my girls adore him!)

  6. Rebecca Summers

    What a beautiful story, your Poppy is an amazing man and a true inspiration. Thank you for a magical evening on Saturday night, I feel so grateful to be part of it and congratulations on a great job raising money for The Hunger Project! xx

  7. Justine

    Wow! Thank you for your blog and inspiration! And SO timely…just reviewed my goals today and added “to give back more”. Your thoughtful words and spirit have reinforced this even more! Treasure your Poppy – I adored my Granddad and I think of his beautiful soul everyday.

  8. Naomi Simson

    It was so wonderful to see your Poppy last Saturday night… partying with the best… just goes to show you are only as old as you choose to be. He’s our hero

  9. Kristine Colliver

    Hi Emma
    This caught my interest for 2 reasons – of course the first obviously being the fabulous role everyone played in this fund raising event; but secondly that you mentioned your grandfather was a boat builder in Sydney – my husband is a shipwright and until the last year has worked in many of the slipways of Sydney. Shipwrights are such clever and dedicated people – and unfortunately it seems to be a dying art. There is a strong possibilty that Darrell may know your Grandfather. Thanks fo the great story. Your Grandfather sounds like an amazing and inspiring man.