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Bean Counters Ball raises $30,000-plus for charity partners

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The 1980s were all about big hair, extreme fashion, Thriller, power ballads and, of course, video games.

And, last week, it provided a fun background for the annual Bean Counters Ball in Newcastle.

Guests were transported back in time for the arcade-themed event, which doubled as a fundraiser for charity partners Samaritans and Hunter TAFE Foundation.

In the end, more than $30,000 was accumulated to assist under-privileged youth access housing and education.

Since its launch in 2011, the extravaganza – a joint initiative between local members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and CPA Australia – has passed the $330,000 mark.

Bean Counters Ball chair Daniel Drayton was delighted by the response.

“Every year the committee aims to bring something new to our guests,” he said.

“So, we were hoping the arcade theme would surprise and delight everyone who attended.

“We want all of them to have fun on the night, as well as assist in fundraising and hope.

“Hearing from those supported by Samaritans and the Hunter TAFE Foundation encouraged everyone to donate.”

Youngsters living in the Samaritans Student Accommodation explained how the premises had changed their lives, helping them on their path to finding a career and a stable home.

One of the students, Tate, said they would not have flourished and become the person they are without the support of Samaritans.

“If I didn’t have this opportunity, if I didn’t reach out, I don’t think I would be here and I don’t think I would be alive,” they stated.

Kayla

Another pupil Kayla said she was currently in her first year of university and Samaritans was a huge influence on her career choice after being supported herself in the youth accommodation.

“Because I’m doing social work at uni, I’m now working as a youth worker at one of the crisis accommodations,” she added.

“I want to help the people who helped me.”

In addition to a video from Samaritans, Jacob Wiseman, a former recipient of the Bean Counters Ball achievement award in conjunction with Hunter TAFE Foundation, detailed his experience studying while looking after a young family.

“Working full-time, juggling three kids under six, combined with the fact that I’d never done any bookkeeping before in my life, I really felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew,” he said.

“Receiving the Bean Counters Achievement Award gave me a much-needed boost and reaffirmed a belief in myself that I could make accounting and bookkeeping a career choice.

“I now have a solid foundation for getting off the ground and into this industry.

“Receiving this award has given me the confidence to start chasing this new career.”

To conclude the formalities, the prestigious Young Achiever Award, in partnership with Hunter Young Professionals (hyp), was presented to Giorgia Wilson from Grace Family Law Solicitors and We Gotchu Girl (WGG).

She’s a paralegal and the founder of WGG, a local charity dedicated to supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Giorgia is passionate about helping others and uses her knowledge and work to create safe spaces for those supported by WGG.

She proudly dedicated her award to the 38 women in Australia who had been killed due to domestic violence since the beginning of year.

Mr Drayton admitted the event wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless work of the committee and the generosity of the sponsors and guests.

“We were lucky enough to have a dozen supporters across our Platinum, Gold and Silver levels for the 2024 ball,” he said.

“Additionally, I want to thank the tireless effort of the committee for their fundraising efforts on the night and leading up to the event.

“And, of course, all of the guests for attending or donating in any way they could.

“We’re looking forward to hosting the Bean Counters Ball again in 2025… and encouraging everyone to support us again in the future.”

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