Helping others one event at a time

If you had a skill that you could use to help others less fortunate or in need, would you put it to good use?
This week we catch up with Tanya Brown, an event professional who decided to use her love of event planning and her industry connections to organise events to raise money for charities close to her heart. 

This year Tanya hosted High Tea by the Sea, which was attended by 110 guests, to raise money for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a world-class integrated cancer treatment centre working to make things easier for people with cancer. Raising just short of $5000, we are delighted to showcase the event below and highlight Tanya’s passion for using her event skills to help others. Images were taken by one of Event Birdie’s fave photographers, John from Harustudio, who volunteered his time on the day.

High Tea by the Sea

Why did you decide to start hosting charity events in your spare time?

When I was younger I started hosting Pink Ribbon Breakfasts as I loved hosting events and I felt a connection to this cause. Having groups of people over to my house for a dinner or a lunch or a party was pretty standard fare, so I thought why not do it for a good cause!

How long have you been hosting charity events?

For the last 7 years on and off.

What charities have you raised money for?

How do you choose the charity you are going to support? 

I think like everyone we have all been touched by cancer in some way shape or form and therefore these charities had a place in my heart. My aim will be too chose a different charity every year and using a fun event as an excuse to raise funds.

Have the events always had the same format? Do you have a secret formula for raising funds? 

They have started off quite small - from 10 pax in my lounge room to 110 pax in a restaurant. I have never hosted a sit down event, as I feel it is best for people to mingle and get involved in competitions and raffle prizes (who doesn’t like to win something!). 
I’m not sure there is a set formula, but I do believe that if guests have a great time and enjoy the event experience they will be generous on the day when it comes to raffles. Having a great list of prizes on the day is definitely a draw card.

You are a busy event professional - where do you find the time? 

I have no idea. I get bored easily and love being busy. Between my job at Haycom and my 2.5 year old, this has kept me very busy, but it is so much fun - I love every minute. 

How important are the connections/ contacts you have in pulling the events together? 

I think my network both in my local community and the events industry has been very important in order to get the word out there and obtain some great donations. This event was purely promoted via social media so every share, like and comment helped enormously.

How does it make you feel? What do you get from doing this for others? 

It feels great to know we are making a difference. I also get a buzz from meeting so many new people and knowing that they had a great time.

Who would you like to thank for their support? 

Our MC Rebecca George donated her time and was amazing! John from Harustudio was brilliant, as was each and every supplier and guest who supported the event. I’d also like to thank my husband and son for putting up with me and a house full of donated items that meant you couldn’t see my lounge room floor for months.

Tanya would also like to thank the following suppliers who assisted her in putting on this event: Zimzala Cronulla, Noel Nassar Events, Bubbly Events, Harustudio and New Directions Packing. Prizes for goody bags were provided by Delonghi Australia, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, The Star, Create, Engage, Bliss Day Spa, JR Events, Aleisha Jane Beauty, Hypoxi Studio Cronulla, Simone Perele, Starshots, Cronulla Art Gallery, Soy Scentiments, Pink Salt Double Bay, Kalaki Kandles, Baked Patisserie, Scentsy, Yoga Mamata and Kaos Snow.

Zimzala, restaurant for event

Gorgeous event space for High Tea by the Sea

Event details at High Tea by the Sea

Who doesn't love arancini!

Enjoying High Tea by the Sea

Delicious desserts - Zimzala

Tanya Brown planning events to help others

Goody bags!

If you too are interested in volunteering your time to help raise money for charities by planning events or are looking to promote a charity event, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!