Under a radiant sun and against a backdrop of lush emerald-green paddocks embracing the sparkling Manning River, Mansfield on the Manning became the canvas for a five-hour lunch experience like no other on Saturday, November 11th.
Hosted by the Gibson family, 220 invited guests gathered for a very special event. “Gibbo’s Long Lunch” was held in memory of a remarkable young man. A much loved son and brother, Jack Gibson. The event also served as a testament to Jack’s memory, legacy, and support for the Jack Gibson Sarcoma Patient & Family Support Programme (JGSP&FSP). On the eve of what would have been Jack’s 27th birthday, love filled the air, transcending into tangible moments shared amongst attendees.
Suzie, Jack’s mums’ poignant opening speech echoed the sentiment that “Jack brought people together,” setting the tone for a day where cherished memories were exchanged and new bonds were formed. The event surpassed expectations by raising an impressive initial figure of $250k,(and rising) a testament to the enduring impact of Jack’s story.
The Master of Ceremonies for the day was long-standing CRBF ambassador, co-host of the highly successful Fitzy, Wippa & Kate Breakfast Show on Nova FM radio, and Australian media personality, Michael “Wippa” Wipfli, who never disappoints with his unique brand of sincerity, warmth, professionalism & humour. On the day Wippa managed to not only MC the event, but to slip out between sets, to secure two highly coveted Taylor Swift tickets on the day for auction. These are concert tickets that sold out in less than 40 minutes of being released, and simply cannot be found, much less purchased.
Words cannot articulate our heartfelt thanks to Wippa for his monumental effort on Saturday in memory of Jack, and for the incredible work he has done for many years providing untold hope to those living with sarcoma.
Suzie’s moving speech preceded a heartfelt video tribute covering Jack’s 26 years, evoking laughter amidst tears and encapsulating Jack’s essence.
Brother Harry and sister Lily, were simply flawless, as they took us on an emotional roller coaster, recounting so many precious, and often very funny memories of their big brother, while Neil, the patriarch of the family, delivered an impassioned speech impressing the importance of Jack’s Programme, and what it will mean to others walking this road behind him.
Mitchell Rice-Brading, CRBF’s patient support co-ordinator, spoke from the heart covering the evolution of JGSP&FSP, and Jack’s pivotal role in its formative phase, adding a stirring quote from nurse, veteran and sarcoma patient, Kaela Graham-Bowman who generously shared her raw and unfiltered thoughts on what it is really like to live with sarcoma.
Jack’s dear friend, Vince Umbers delivered a stirring and deeply moving musical tribute to Jack, as he did one year prior in the very same setting. The lyrics of this magnificent song resonated deeply.
Angus Joyce superbly hosted a Jack-centric trivia, and Henry Clarke of Sydney University Cricket Club provided extremely entertaining insights into Jack’s cricketing prowess. Hunter Hordern and Lachie Mactier hosted a lively hole-in-one competition, encouraging the competitive golfing spirit in the room. Alex Grant and Harry Gibson rallied the troops for the races, and bidding was fierce.
Behind the scenes, Suzie, Neil, Harry, and Lily, alongside Anna and Geoff , Georgia, Emma, Will, Kimberly , Tom, Amelia, Sally, Peter, Sandy, Stu, Cath, Nicky, Jen, Kim Alex, Meg, Rob, Shiv, Lachie and Lindy played instrumental roles from arranging flowers to photography, food prep, video production, catering, and everything in between.
Auction and raffle items for the event were premium offerings, ranging from 18 holes of golf for four at NSW Golf Club with Australian Cricket Captain, Pat Cummins, who generously supported this event. The Racklyeft family donated 2 weeks at their ski lodge in Big White, British Columbia. A superb Noosa package was donated by the Hordern and Marlow families; A Potts Point Experience, a luxury pamper package, a weekend at Manning on the Mansfield for 18, and an exquisite Prada handbag donated by Prada Executive Sophie Clark, which found a home with the very popular Sally Mactier.
Special thanks must go to Chrissy Hordern and Siobhan (Shiv) Shaw – Chrissy for her outstanding work in securing the best array of prizes and auction items seen at a charity event in a long time. Shiv spent countless hours producing flawless work to market the items. Together Chrissy and Shiv made a very significant $100k contribution to the impressive fundraising total.
Thanks must also go to Emma Duncan for her great work with the mammoth task of AV/IT, and Tom Molloy for capturing the essence of the day with his beautiful photography.
Finally events such as this one are not possible without the profound generosity of donors.
|Avondale Golf Club||Rock Salt Noosa|
|Camperdown Cellars||Ross Hill Wines, Orange|
|Champion Sports (Bushnell)||Scarborough Wine Co|
|China Diner||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Cricket Australia||Sun Mountain Sports|
|Glasshouse Fragrances||Teed up Golf|
|Hotel Challis Potts Point||The Chapman Family, Palm Beach|
|Hugo’s Manly||The Dinner Ladies|
|Human Nurture Rose Bay||The Dreverman Family, Bowral|
|Joh Bailey Salon||The Holden Family, Blueys Beach|
|Locale Restaurant & Bar Noosa||The Hordern Family, Noosa|
|Macleay on Manning, Potts Point||The Marlow Family, Noosa|
|Macleay St Bistro, Potts Point||The Purbrick Family|
|Michael Smythe PGA||The Racklyeft Family, Big White|
|Prada Australia – Sophie Clark||The Rice-Brading Family|
|Potts Point Bookshop||The Vintage, Hunter Valley|
|Ricky’s River Bar and Restaurant Noosa|
In celebrating Jack’s life, the “Gibbo’s Long Lunch” became a tapestry of shared experiences, a testament to the enduring impact of a young man who brought people together and left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew him.
Let’s all raise our glasses to the very essence of Jack and his remarkable family….