It was a birthday celebration for the ages – perhaps the longest one too! The pre-party started in early 2020 but the main fiesta didn’t kickstart until March 2022. Despite all the obstacles thrown our way, we got there in the end and celebrated Diamonds’ 20th birthday in the most fabulous way possible!
Thursday 31st March saw Crown’s Palladium transform into an eastern, floral wonderland, beaming with hope, love, and exuberance. Every table was ornated with delicate pink and red bouquets of flowers; coloured paper cranes handcrafted by the loving and nimble fingers of our extraordinary volunteers and families; and of course, the beautiful ladies who sat at their tables ready to spread love all around the room and support a cause close to their hearts. It was exquisite.
Though dainty and elegant, the night never saw a dull moment with extravagance and fun bursting at every corner of the room. Whether it was our electric hosts – Rebecca Maddern and Andy Lee –putting our guests in fits of laughter and awe; or the entrancing entertainment that spanned across the whole night from Transit Dance to the legendary Daryl Braithwaite to Velvet Corporation, the night always had a moment in time to celebrate and enjoy.
But amidst all the fun, was the important theme of ‘hope’ captured poignantly by our guest speakers. These ladies are the people at the heart of our community – Challenge staff and Challenge mothers. Each speaker spoke with an elegance and power that seized the audience and often, tugged on their heartstrings. It was a collage of stories of what ‘hope’ meant to them.
And on that theme of ‘hope’, there was the story of Andrea Zanella, who was crowned this year’s winner of our Diamond of the Year award. Andrea is a familiar face to everyone in the Challenge community, regularly volunteering at various events and rallying her posse of friends to join her to do the same. But Andrea’s story with Challenge started many years ago when her beautiful son, Daniel, was diagnosed with cancer. Daniel lost his hard-fought battle and the grief Andrea and rest of her family felt was astronomical. It is a grief no parent, sibling, friend should ever endure. Andrea found some ‘hope’ in giving back to Challenge, and in doing so, she continues Daniel’s legacy by giving back to other families. Andrea is indeed a very deserving winner and a mighty congratulations to her and her family, who surprised her on the night when they were there to witness her special moment.
Each year, with the support of Sol’s Diamonds, one lucky lady walks away with an amazing diamond from the highly anticipated Diamonds raffle! The ladies eagerly listened as Andy Lee slowly called the winning raffle ticket number out. Fortune favoured the beautiful Jasmine Styles who won the spectacular 18ct white gold, diamond pendant valued at $11,000. Congratulations, Jasmine!
Diamonds would simply not have been possible without an extraordinary community of sponsors, supporters, volunteers and the wonderful women who attend.
A special thank you in particular to our sponsors Bed, Bath, N’ Table, Crown, Encore, Jayco, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry Centre, T’Gallant, Masci Hair & Spa, Elly Lukas, Slade Pharmacy, and Active Draping. Your support helped us bring this night together and make it the great success it was. We are so humbled by your generosity.
And finally, to the incredible Women for Challenge Committee, your vision, commitment, drive and desire to make a difference to the lives of other women, is incredible. After two long years of this event being put on hold, we congratulate you on an outstanding event.