Fundraiser to change young kids lives

It was the words of a dedicated mum that stole the show at this year’s major Villa Maria Catholic (VMCH) Homes fundraiser, Art After Dark.

Catherine Devine told an audience of around 240 guests about her family’s journey with VMCH’s support services for young children with special needs, Early Childhood Intervention Services, in Kew.

Her two-year-old son, Joshua, has required multiple surgeries and specialist therapy after being born without functioning thumbs and a hole in his heart. That is where ECIS has played a vital role.

“I cannot stress how finding the Early Childhood Intervention Service in Kew has changed our lives. Joshie has come on so much with the regular therapy and time spent playing during the parent support group,” Catherine told the audience at the fundraiser.

The very funny and talented Brian Nankervis was the night’s MC and kept the audience entertained, especially with his ladies V gentlemen ‘RocKwiz’ – and for the record the ladies won!

VMCH CEO, Sonya Smart, summed up the importance of the fundraising evening when she welcomed guests.

“It’s about the 150 children who access our Early Childhood Intervention Services, in Kew. This vital service provides a range of educational and therapeutic programs to young children from birth to eight years of age and supports their families,” she said.

The evening raised more than $50,000 for our Teach & Tumble campaign. The money will buy new play and gym equipment, as well as digital resources, which can be used during therapy and play sessions.

Nelson Alexander partner, Michael Fry, again did a fantastic job during the auction of 26 donated pieces of art. The top seller of the night was a bold and bright piece by Indigenous artist, Jeannie Petyarre, which sold for $5000. A painting by renowned Australian artist, John Olsen, was also a crowd favourite and sold for $3100.

Special thanks goes to our partners and sponsors for supporting the Art After Dark fundraising gala: Lexus Blackburn, Acsess Health and Cura Pharmacy.

Other generous support came from those who donated art, items for the silent auction and wine for the yet again popular wine-wall.

We look forward to keeping everyone updated about how money raised on the night will help us continue to support children like Joshua.

People can still donate to the Teach and Tumble fundraising campaign by calling 1800 036 377 or visit our website

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