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2023 Gala Dinner partygoers party with a purpose to raise close to $200,000 for Lutheran Care’s Emergency Relief Fund

The band Motel Music are playing at the Lutheran Care Gala Dinner in front of a crowded dance floor. The guitarist is smiling.

2023 Gala Dinner partygoers party with a purpose to raise close to $200,000 for Lutheran Care’s Emergency Relief Fund

Lutheran Care promised to throw a party with a purpose – and the 2023 Gala Dinner delivered exactly that! A wonderful night of doing good and enjoyed by all. 

Held at Adelaide Oval on Friday, 10 November, the event brought together around 600 guests to celebrate the generous spirit of South Australian businesses and the broader community, and raise much-needed funds for the growing number of Australians in desperate need and in dire situations. 

The Gala Dinner is Lutheran Care’s major fundraiser for its Emergency Relief program, which despite being one of the organisation’s most in demand programs for people in crisis, receives little formal funding and relies heavily on donations and fundraising to be able to cater for the critical level of need in the community. 

Through both a silent and live auction, $1000 pledge donations and ticket sales, the event raised close to an impressive $200,000 (net). These funds will enable Lutheran Care to continue supporting families and individuals in crisis with critical food relief; bedding; clothing; assistance accessing healthcare; transport, supermarket and op shop vouchers; and links to ongoing supports such as homelessness services, financial counselling, family violence support, parenting programs and more. 

Media personality Rebecca Morse led attendees through a fun program of live music from Ash Gale and Motel Music, the creation of a live artwork by surreal artist Andrew Baines, a live auction expertly delivered by auctioneer Phil Harris from Harris Real Estate, a three-course dinner matched with parings from our generous wine partner Maxwell Wines and dancing. 

A poignant part of the night was a video interview with a Lutheran Care client, who shared insights about how Lutheran Care had helped her reconnect with health and happiness, after she plunged into crisis after a two-month coma, was homeless and unable to feed or look after her young children. The client credits Lutheran Care with helping turn her life and her children’s lives around, with essentials such as groceries, connecting her with vital health supports and other tailored supports to help improve her confidence and wellbeing, and increase the family’s participation back into the community. 

Lutheran Care Chief Executive Officer Rohan Feegrade was grateful to Major Sponsor LLL Australia for its support of the event and also thanked all sponsors and auction item donors, as well as every attendee for being part of this special night and contributing to this great cause. 

“With increasingly challenging financial conditions being placed on businesses, families and individuals, we understand the significant pressures many of our partners are feeling right now,” Mr Feegrade said. 

“Their unwavering support is testament to their commitment in helping families and our communities who are in distress.  

 “The overwhelming love and support in the room on the night will continue to provide much inspiration for the challenging work we do in extremely challenging times. 

“It was such an incredible evening had by all! 

“Thank you to all of our generous guests who came out to support Lutheran Care, but more importantly for uniting with us to help the most vulnerable individuals, families and communities that we serve.” 

Mr Feegrade paid special tribute to Lutheran Care’s Head of Philanthropy Sandy Davis for her tireless work in putting together the event, along with assistance from the organisation’s communications team and event volunteers from Beyond Bank on the night. 

“I would like to sincerely thank every one of our sponsors, supporters, and partners and guests who dug deep to donate financially or provide auction items to help us make our event such a huge success,” Ms Davis said. 

“I’m humbled by the many motivated South Australian sponsors, donors and guests who continue to show their confidence in the work we do and partner with us to directly support Australians in crisis.  

 “Their generosity is a shining example of what our community can achieve when we come together with a common goal of compassion and support. 

“The people whom we support are growing in number and the level of need is critical, so this support for our fundraising efforts could not have come at a better time.” 

Ms Davis also thanked artist Andrew Baines for his support of the event, including donating two of his artworks for auction, one of which he completed live at the event, and everyone who purchased a ticket or table to the dinner.  

Being acutely aware of how much the fundraising sector is struggling at the moment in the current financial climate, Ms Davis was blown away by the result. 

“I’m so proud of how everyone came together for this event and I promise you Lutheran Care will make a difference to people’s lives with your support,” she said. 

Attendees are encouraged to tag Lutheran Care in their photos, @lutherancareSANT, and use the hashtags #LCGala23 and #partywithapurpose 

See all the photos from the night here.