I'm a communication and marketing specialist working as the Snr Product Marketing Manager AsiaPac with CBS Interactive in Sydney, whilst volunteering on two causes fighting the fight against depression and suicide.
In 2012, a committee was formed in Dublin, Ireland, with the goal of organising a charity ball, the Light Ball (TLB), to raise awareness around mental health issues, and raise much need funds for the Irish charity Pieta House. Pieta House is a charity that has seen and helped nearly 17,000 people in suicidal distress; it's a charity that has saved lives and helped the most emotionally vulnerable.
In its first year, the Light Ball raised over €55,000 (euros) for Pieta House, and it boosted the awareness of mental health through mass media coverage; across social media channels and coverage in the national papers in Ireland. 835 people attended the inaugural Light ball, including some of Ireland's most famous sports stars and celebrities - a number that exceeded the initial projection of 250 attendees.
After its first year, two of the founding committee members moved to Sydney, Australia – they dreamed of starting up a Light Ball down under but without the connections or support network, it remained a dream and not a reality.
The Light Ball again took place again in Ireland in 2014 raising over €50,000 (euros), attracting huge numbers once more.
Seven months later, the Darkness into Light (DIL dil.pieta.ie/ event took place in Sydney. The turnout for the DIL event made it clear that the support network for the cause and Pieta House in Australia is in fact, enormous.
On the morning of the 2015 DIL Sydney event, it was decided to make Light Ball Sydney happen. On Friday, 25 September 2015, the inaugural Light Ball take place in Sydney, where funds and awareness will not only be raised for Pieta House but also its partner charity in Australia, Beyond Blue. Event organisers are particularly calling on the Irish diaspora for support and promotion.
Big name Irish stars have already committed to supporting the event, with the likes of Sonia O'Sullivan (former Olympian), Tadhg Kennelly (former Sydney Swans AFL player) and Paul Martell (comedian and MC on the night) all backing the great cause.
Tadhg Kennelly, Former Sydney Swans AFL Player, is backing the inaugural Light Ball in Sydney
TLB have a Facebook page, Twitter account and registration page already set up if readers would like further information and how to book. Tickets will set you back $160 per person, or $1,500 for a table of 10.
#LightBallSyd is the hashtag to follow for updates.
Excitement is building with just days to go before the inaugural ball. What lends to be a night-of-nights not to be missed on the Sydney event calendar, it includes:
1. Funds on the night going to support Pieta House and Beyond Blue charities, who help prevent self-harm, suicide and anxiety
2. A full black tie event in one of Sydney's most iconic venues, Doltone House, Darling Harbour
3. The famous comedian, Paul Martell, as MC
4. A 3.5 hour beverage package included in your ticket price, plus a three-course meal
5. A band and DJ for entertainment on the night
6. A special after party
7. A charity auction
8. A room with 500 of Sydney's elite socialites
By attending on the night, you can help raise funds for two of the best causes we can think of, both here in Australia and back in Ireland.
Beyond Blue are one of the chosen charities for this year's ball
Pieta House is one of the chosen charities for the inaugural ball