When women get together for a cause, we can be pretty bloody powerful. I was thrilled to be part of an important fundraising high tea at the QT Hotel on Saturday, which involved raising awareness about breast cancer, amazing goody bags, cakes and just a little bit of cheeky ole' burlesque.
This Pink Ribbon Breakfast High Tea, nicknamed the #GirlGang High Tea was the brainchild of Shirley McLeod, a Wellington powerhouse Yoga Teacher at Yoga With Me and all round 'can-do' hot mama. I'd met Shirley through some of the awesome businesses and business women I work with blogging, including Wilson Trollope, Wonderland PR, and Tailor Skincare (you can read my interviews with the founders, Annabelle and Sara, of these respectively kick-ass businesses here and here).
Through Shirley, I was introduced to some further epic businesses such as Good Buzz Kombucha (who I was already a fan of) and Empower Yoga Studio and Ailish Lucas from The Glow Getter. As is the custom in this day and age, a Facebook group was created and we began to regularly catch up at some cool Wellington restaurants like Crab Shack and WBC to talk business and everything else. So when Shirley suggested doing an event altogether for Pink Ribbon May, we jumped at the chance. It's amazing to live in a town like Wellington where there are so many other cool businesses doing great stuff.
So why breast cancer? In case you've been living under a rock for the last 20 years, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ helps to raise funds to research breast cancer more. Last year, over 3,200 Kiwi's participated in Pink Ribbon Breakfasts and over 1.7 million dollars was raised for research. Everyone knows someone or has been affected by this common and terrible disease. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age, so it was our mums, our aunties, our friends and our mentors we were doing this for. Breast cancer isn’t common in women under the age of 50 but about 70% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 80% of women who die from it are 50 years or older. It's so important to check yourself regularly and get mammograms.
Finally, after weeks of planning, emailing, talking to businesses and collecting items for the goody bag, the day arrived. Eight bubbly women (aka us) descended on QT Hotel to share the love and raise money to help fight breast cancer.
After setting up, the guests turned up in the bright, beautiful Hippopotamus Restaurant, many welcomed by a huge hug (the ones we knew I mean - and some we didn't). They were gifted a bag that contained, amongst other goodies (I'm sure I'll miss some things but you can see most of them here from Instagram) Whittakers Chocolate, a bracelet from Trelise Cooper, a voucher for Cranfields (who I adore), yummy Serious Popcorn popcorn, tea from Libertine Blends, a Wilson Trollope Voucher and so, so, much more. Women also very generously donated their hard-earned moolah to enter into some fabulous raffle prizes offered up which we drew later on in the High Tea. For a full list of our amazing supporters, check out below and give them a click to find out more.
What an epic weekend and epic goody bag from our #girlgangnz High Tea @qtmuseum_wellington - tap to find out who some of our amazing supporters were! What a great lot 💓 And high five @yogawithmenz @theglowgetterofficial @goodbuzznz @wonderlandfirm @sara_lhani_que @empower_studio @wilsontrollope - we did it!
After getting settled in, and 'ooh'-ing and 'ahhh'-ing over the goody bags, all of the organisers, Shirley, Anne, Amber, Kim, Annabelle, Sara, Ailish and myself introduced what we do and the event itself. It was amazing to see everyone, as well as the organisers ourselves, dressed up to the nines looking pretty and polished. Next, there was a talk MC'ed by Sara from Tailor introducing Taylor, a very special chick who is conducting research into how immunisation could help treat breast cancer. Taylor spoke passionately about her research and had everyone transfixed as she explained how science can help unravel the very scary mystery of this illness.
"We raised $2000 in total which is amazing! We can't wait to do it all again next year!"
Finally, after tea and cake were well into being demolished, guests were treated to a surprise performance. Wellington burlesque performer, Miss NZ Pinup contestant and winner for NZ's Supreme Grand Tease Fanciforia Foxglove burst onto our High Tea to perform a special charity performance. The performance was symbolic of the control women have over their bodies and how no matter what, we are the owners of our performance through the cheekiness and unexpected surprises of life. Some high tea goers surely dropped their cupcakes in surprise!
By the end, we were having to quickly hustle some high tea attendees out the door as although we'd have loved to have stayed for the entire afternoon, Hippopotamus had to get ready for their next appointment. It was a privilege to be part of such an incredible event. If every ticket buyer left feeling a little bit more powerful, then surely that was worth some very good petit fours.
We raised $2000 in total which is amazing! We can't wait to do it all again next year! Huge thank you to all our incredible contributors and ticket buyers who without we couldn't have made this wonderful event happen. Cheers!