“So shines a good deed in a weary world”. A line written by Shakespeare but will forever belong to Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka. Its message is strong and ultimately encapsulates the true message behind Dahl’s famed tale: behind all the magic and beyond the world of pure imagination, a good heart will always shine through.

This is what this year’s Scrumdiddlyumptious Challenge Ball at Pullman Melbourne on the Park was all about. Of course, we still wanted the magic – the glorious shades of royal purple with rivers and walls of delicious chocolate, and entrancing orange dwarves that sing and dance at whatever chance. We wanted all that, and we had all that plus more.

With Challenge Chairman, Tom Gleisner, as our official Willy Wonka and our finest volunteers as Oompa Loompas, the night soared to new heights of enchantment. Cocktails By Design allured us all with Espresso Martinis and Cosmos; donut walls and edible centrepieces had our mouths watering; and fabulous auction items as well as the Wonka Golden Ticket Raffle all had our wallets bursting. This ball was really something else.

Entertainment was otherworldly too with Transit Dance captivating us all with their jaw-dropping opening act followed by Velvet Corporation singing us to our feet throughout the entire night. To put the cherry on top, our surprise guest performer turned out to be none other than Aussie legend, Daryl Braithwaite.  We can confirm that we all flew, way up high, riding on the horses…yeah, yeah 😂. Daryl is one of Australia’s most iconic artists and it was a true privilege to witness his talent live on stage.

The event was a resounding success, but the greatest success of them all was the good deed that shone through all this splendour. But what good deed when there were many? Was it the good deed of hundreds of our amazing guests showing up to support our cause, or was it the good deed of the amazing Challenge events team and volunteers putting together an incredible night? Perhaps it was simply the good deed of being good and supporting those who need it most. The Challenge Ball was full of good deeds, which encompassed everyone, and everything involved.

This was most accurately articulated in the beautiful speech presented by Challenge parent and board member, Steve Walsh. His words honoured the good deeds of Challenge, the good deeds of Challenge families, and more specifically, the good deeds of the late, great Jarrod Lyle. His words touched the hearts of many and resonated with us all. Well done to you, Walshy.

Nonetheless, with all its triumphs, the event would not have been possible without the diligent work of many, and we would like to name a few of those individuals. Firstly, huge congratulations and thanks to our Events Manager, Janey Rainey, and the Challenge Ball Committee for conducting such a scrumdiddlyumptious night. The devotion and effort you invest into this event is second to none. We cannot express how grateful we are for all that you do.

Secondly, to our amazing volunteers, thank you for all your support. Just like Willy Wonka would not be without his Oompa Loompas, Challenge would not be without you! We greatly appreciate your willingness to always ensure the night runs according to plan and as smoothly as possible.

Thirdly to our incredible sponsors – Microhire, ALH, Yering Station, Heritage Fine Chocolates, VM Graphics and Impact Digital – whose production, beverages, treats, design, and print contributed to the multi-faceted look and feel of the entire evening.

Finally, to all the amazing guests and sponsors that bring this night together and make it mean what it does, we love and thank you all so much. You give this ball a purpose and without you, there too would be no Challenge Ball.

We hope everyone had an incredible night, and we look forward to welcoming you again into whatever our next world of pure imagination will be…

Let all the good deeds continue to shine through the weariness and adversity that try to shadow them!