As 7am Friday the 7th May arrived, the rain that had been with us in Sydney for many days, together with the dark gloomy skies, momentarily cleared, and sunshine bathed the Wisteria Room, at the Centennial Park Homestead.

Right up until the 11th hour, this event hung in the balance due to the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney Covid scare, and the NSW government restrictions that followed.

The welfare of our guests would always be front and centre of this event and immediate procedures were put in place to allow cancellations and protection of those who still wished to attend.

The support of our special guests for the morning, allowed us to continue with a full programme, and for this we thank the ever-professional Melissa Hoyer, Cathrine Mahoney and Sarah McGilvray, the unflappable Georgie Katsanevenakis, together with the endless support of Jarrad Sapsford, and Marc Chami. Each of these remarkable individuals did not waver with their support of the event.

Melissa was outstanding. Her warmth, attention to detail and professionalism is second to none, and the careful preparation she places into hosting duties, the love and support she has shown the Rice-Brading family and Cooper’s legacy, together with the time she donates for charitable purpose, is truly remarkable. We are indebted to Melissa for her willingness to host this function over three years and the astonishing thoughtfulness she places into doing so.

Cathrine and Sarah are two of the most grounded women in the media, despite what they have achieved throughout their respective careers, with each of their stars continuing to rise. Their segment on parenting, relationships and motherhood provided a light-hearted and funny account of the day to day perils we are all so familiar with. Sarcoma is not a light subject, and to have these talented women lift the mood of the morning is something so very special to all of us at CRBF.

Our special guest speaker, Georgie Katsanevenakis was exceptional. This is a young woman with the world at her feet. Georgie shared her sarcoma diagnosis and her inner thoughts with a spell bound audience, and never one faltered. Despite the adversities in her life, she continues to inspire those who meet her, with her warmth, positivity, and grace. For Georgie it is a case of “watch this space”…

Jarrad Sapsford and Marc Chami are two exceptional young men who attended Sydney Grammar School, and were in the same year as Cooper.  They bravely performed the poignant A capella performance of ‘Shenendoah’ at Cooper’s service in 2017, together with Rob Hao, and Jasper Schoff.  Marc and Jarrad performed flawless recitals of Memories (Maroon Five), Your Song (Sir Elton John) and La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf). As in past years, you could hear a pin drop as they held our guests in the palms of their hands.

CRBF’s own Mitchel Rice-Brading may be a Clinical Psychologist in waiting, however he is also a very polished public speaker. He conducted what was to be an interactive piece with our guests, which was severely restricted to due to Covid. A combination of thank you’s and roasts, he was highly entertaining and topical.

We thank our major sponsors of the breakfast, The Fresh Flowers Group, Autore, Glasshouse Fragrances and Lindt Chocolates, together with a list of prize donors too numerous to mention, but will be recognised separately for their generosity. Without your contributions, this event would not be possible.

Thanks must also go to the Trippas White Group and in particular Leena Chugani and Amy Tran for their excellent organisational skills, and the hospitality staff for keeping our guests safe on the day.

Ed Howard from East Coast Creative provided our beautiful photographs on the day, together with a selection of personal shots from Georgie Kats. CRBF would like to thank Ed for volunteering his time to capture these important memories.

Zoran Loveski from Sodium AV has been working with CRBF for three years, and is a consummate professional in his field. He also volunteers for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and we wish to acknowledge his dedication and the provision of the highest standard of audio visual production for our events.

Finally we wish to thank our volunteers, in particular Robin Todd for her tireless work over many weeks to secure raffle prizes, Kirsten Martensen-Arms, Kate Longden, Claire Bonic, Martin Rossleigh, Keith Cox, Tracey Neaverson and Gloria Gapes.

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