Portland Ball To Raise Funds For Helipad

Joanne Saunders, Carolyn Malseed, Melissa Kennett, Gail Jaensch, Christine Giles
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Portland’s annual charity ball will continue in 2015 as a fund-raiser for a new local cause, the Portland District Health (PDH) helipad project.

The former Make-A-Wish ball will now be known as the PDH Wish Upon a Star ball for 2015.

The ball on the Portland foreshore has become one of the social highlights of the year and has raised many thousands of dollars for sick children over the past 13 years.

However, members of the Portland Make-A-Wish branch resigned en-masse in September after communication issues could not be resolved. There is no longer an active Make-A-Wish branch in Portland. The branch previously covered the region to Winchelsea.

The volunteer members have continued to plan the ball and have decided the 2015 event on February 7 will be run in conjunction with PDH and in support of the helipad.

Former branch president Gail Jaensch said she was pleased that the ball would continue and support a worthy local cause.

We are a passionate group of volunteers and we will continue to go with our passion, she said.

We have chosen to come on board with PDH as we believe the helipad is very important for our town and for the whole south-west.

About 500 tickets have been sold for the ball.

Ms Jaensch said she was pleased to be able to confirm the event would continue to support the local community and all money raised would go back to the area.

It's Portland's event and we want to continue that. We are hoping the entire town will get behind us and support this as it is a community event,she added.

As resigned volunteers of Portland Make-A-Wish branch, we would like to give something back to the public. It will be nice to see all monies raised go locally, so we can give back something to the public who have supported us all the way.

Ms Jaensch said it was disappointing that the Portland branch of Make-A-Wish had disbanded, but the local volunteer committee was determined to continue to run the ball and support local charities.

As a community we need the helipad because we're so far away from Melbourne, so we’re very happy to partner with PDH.

PDH CEO Chris Giles said the health service was pleased to partner with the volunteers to make sure the ball was a success for the community.

We welcome the opportunity to work with the volunteers and to have their support through this great community event, Ms Giles said.

We will work with them to make sure it is a success for the community, for PDH and for the helipad.

Ms Giles added that PDH was an important part of the local community and being involved in events like the ball would strength those ties.

The helipad is an important health and safety asset for local people, she added.

Ms Jaensch said the 2015 ball would have some surprises.

It is a new direction and the event is being transformed. There will be a few surprises, she said.

The ball will feature entertainment from children’s entertainers Micmacs and a market during the day. Wilbur Wilde and Frankie J. Holden will provide entertainment at the ball along with the Melbourne band Noisy Neighbours.

Ms Jaensch asked people who had previously purchased tickets to confirm their purchases by contacting Leading Edge in Portland.

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