The Eye Ball 2010 was held at the very grand Palladium room in Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Friday 18 June to raise awareness and money for the Fred Hollows Foundation to help Australia’s indigenous communities.
The annual Eye Ball fundraiser is the result of the passion of one man to improve the discrepancy between low and high socioeconomic groups in our society. Bertram Daniel, owner and operator of ‘It’s a Breeze’ Real Estate Solutions, decided that after 35 years in business he needed to do something to help others. So he brought together like-minded individuals who came up with the ingenious annual fundraiser, The Eye Ball.
As the 700 guests, dressed up to the nines, made their way into the marble foyer of the Palladium, they were welcomed with champagne and the opportunity to bid for auction items including a signed Ronaldo jersey, other sports paraphernalia and movie stills, with all proceeds going to The Fred Hollows Indigenous Program.
Phil Nicholson, an Elder of the Wurundjeri Council gave the traditional welcome to acknowledge both the elders of the past and the elders of today. “Today, the community has regained spirit and strength. We want to educate people that there is a long aboriginal history to this country but also a strong vein of aboriginal culture running through Australia to this day.”
Jessica McNamee, from Packed to the Rafters and ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation, co-hosted the night with Liberal candidate Brad Battin.
Bertram Daniel, Chairman of The Eye Ball, was introduced to the stage to a round of applause and wolf whistles. “I have had a great 35 years in the real estate industry…. and I couldn’t think of a better way to give back than this,” he said with a great deal of emotion in his voice.
“I admired Fred Hollows as a person for a long time, because he held the same values as I did. He had great recognition in the community but not enough funding. When I realised the disparity between indigenous and non indigenous people, I realised The Eye Ball was something I had to do.”
There was AUD$120,000 raised for the Fred Hollows Foundation and Brian Doolan, the CEO of Fred Hollows Foundation, showed his appreciation saying how important nights like the Eye Ball are to the charity. “We are a very ambitious organisation but without support from people like you we can’t do this. Nights like tonight mean everything.
“As a result of this fundraising, someone who is blind right now won’t be one day.”