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Mice Net : December 2008
e-awards 2007 Charity Event of the Year – winner Leishman Associates – Paula Leishman – Choice Aggregation Services, Make a Wish Charity Auction “Hogwart’s Hall” As the conference managers for Choice Aggregation Services, Mortgage Aggregators, Leishman Associates conduct its national annual conference, and in 2007, as Choice celebrated its 10th anniversary, there were high expectations regarding the social program organised by a production team that included conference manager and creative director Paula Leishman, production manager Michael Bullock, Paul Cumming of Phenomenon Creative Event Solutions, Dave Trapp of Lux Entertainment Technology and Burswood Conventions. The Make a Wish Charity Auction is held at the opening function of the Choice Aggregation Services conference. Choice is gold sponsors of Make a Wish (MAW) and in the last five years has raised in excess of $100,000 annually for the charity. The connection between the companies was forged through Leishman Associates’ alliance with the Patron of the Foundation, professional speaker Robyn Moore. The opening event was held in the Grand Ballroom at the Burswood Convention Centre and was transformed from a meeting space to a magical Hogwart’s Hall experience. The event had multiple purposes and objectives including providing delegates with the opportunity to mingle, to raise money and awareness for MAW and create a function that combined the theme of the annual conference ‘Magic Moments – Past, Present & Future’. All objectives on the evening were met as an excess of $10,000 was raised for MAW and a wish was granted for its recipient, Rebecca Peters. This is not a common occurrence within the Make a Wish foundation as ‘wishes’ are not used as promotional aids or for entertainment. A special request was made to National President of MAW, Sandy Brattstrom, that Choice would like to make the 10th anniversary special and grant a wish if it was possible. It took months of organisation for this to occur however, Rebecca was a wonderful recipient who spoke beautifully about the importance of MAW and there was not a dry eye in the house. The goodwill that was generated throughout the room cannot be re-created and the atmosphere, generosity and joy of the evening created a buzz of excitement that remained with delegates throughout the remainder of the conference. The initial brief was to replicate Hogwart’s Hall and the fundamental elements that needed to be considered were matching the food and beverage and room decoration to that which might be found in Hogwart’s Hall. A typical British dinner was chosen including soup, roast beef and nuggets and chips for the younger ones, served on platters as you’d find in an English boarding school. Some challenges were experienced along the way such as the sourcing of wooden benches and tables to seat 500 people but after approaching two private schools in Perth, they allowed us to borrow their dining room chairs and tables. Harry Potter’s all 'round at Hogwart’s Hall. 46 mice.net 46 mice.net