Event of the Week: Friends of the Keith Hospital Ladies High Tea

May 29, 2012

A cuppa for a cause

The Friends of the Keith Hospital hosted a Ladies High Tea on 20 April, in order to raise funds for the not-for-profit community hospital.

The Keith & District Hospital is in the Upper South East of South Australia. It serves approximately 10,000 people in the wider area, but since 2009 has been endangered due to the withdrawal of $360,000 in government funding. Though this year the Hospital has received a government grant, it is only a one-time, 12 month source of funding.

Since the 2009 loss, “the community [has] been rallying to keep the Hospital open,” said Robyn Verrall, of Friends of the Keith Hospital, and coordinator of the Keith Hospital Action Group. To date, over $350,000 has been raised.

“It was determined that the community of Keith needed to branch out into the wider circle of Adelaide to raise the profile and to fund raise to its maximum potential,” said Verrall. The group used word of mouth, social media, and radio to advertise the High Tea.

The Friends of the Keith Hospital sold their Eventgroove tickets through the Hospital website, as well as over the phone by credit card. Then they mailed them to the recipients. “They were beautifully printed and many kept them as a memento of the occasion,” said Verrall. “They were also a quick turnaround and value for money as the ticket printing was left till the last minute,” she added.

The entire event had a short preparation time, which Verrall will change the next time she does an event. “I would give myself a four month lead time next time, instead of six weeks,” she said, “I would I would have the tickets printed and ready for sale as soon as the venue and menu have been finalised.” For those planning similar events, she recommends starting ticket sales early, and enlisting the venue for the event in advertising. To ensure a successful fundraiser, she also recommends nominating table captains, and making sure they each fill a table. While all went according to plan, “…we would have liked more ladies to attend,” said Verrall.

The event was a success. South Australia’s own Anne Wills was the guest speaker, entertaining the crowd with stories from her life. Verrall herself spoke on the history of the Hospital. She also introduced guests from Fantastic Furniture. “The ladies work with this company and have donated a house full of furniture to upgrade our doctors house, which will save the hospital $50,000 per year in Bed & Breakfast fees,” said Verrall. In addition to speeches, there was a silent auction, a donated door prize, and more.

The High Tea benefited the Hospital a great deal. “The High Tea raised over $12,000 profit for the Hospital,” said Verrall.

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