On the 26th November, the annual Knight’s fundraiser was held to generate much needed funds for the Croatian Catholic organisation “Kap Dobrote”. This was the 9th annual fundraiser and by far exceeded all expectations set by previous years.
How to express it in just a few words? Absolutely priceless. Did we raise much needed funds? Yes. Did we all have a great time? Yes. So, what makes it different to every other fundraising initiative? Simple – it is a conglomerate of Croatian Catholic families and individuals, with God as the central focus of their lives, teaming up together to help the most vulnerable and needy in our homeland. It’s that simple, with God in the centre of our lives, all that we do will be Blessed and will please God. That, is what makes it a success. Yes, raising a lot of money is a way to measure success, however doing God’s work above all is more rewarding than we could ever imagine.
So, the night began as usual with mass held by Fra Ivica at the Croatian Catholic Centre in Blacktown. As guests started to gather outside the venue after mass, they were met with ‘domaća rakija’ and a selection of tasty bites whilst enjoying the wonderful sounds of Australia’s youngest Croatian upcoming band – ‘Sydney Svirači’. The atmosphere was building into what turned out to be one of the best fundraisers ever held.
The event was hosted by our very own emcee’s, Katarina Nazor and Adriana Bann, who invited Fra Ivica to do the opening Blessing and prayers. Sumptuous meza platters were on offer as the band, Mirko and Kemo welcomed all with some light background music. Greetings from around the world were played on the big screen, consisting of Croatian Bishops, charity group leaders and some Branitelji. A warm welcome to commence the festivities.
As is expected in any Croatian setting, a feast was put on for dinner catering for both young and old. During dinner, videos were played from the organisation Kap Dobrote, the works there are currently doing and what is needed for the vulnerable in Croatia to survive this winter. Hearts were touched and filled with empathy, and this was shown in the efforts of everybody throughout the night.
The ‘kolo’ came on and the dance floor was quickly filled, and even some of the men from the Knights group made an effort – albeit that one of our regular Italian guests, Sammy Gallačić, stepped on everyone’s toes trying to learn the kolo. The raffle was bigger than ever as we sold out of tickets and had to create our own to ensure everyone had an opportunity to win a prize or two. The auction once again did not disappoint with items that included a signed Luka Modrić Real Madrid jersey, signed Werner Illić jersey and several one-off artworks by the nuns overseas.
For me, the best part of the night, is watching everyone get together, have loads of conversations, some just catch ups, for others chats they haven’t had for years. Seeing people volunteer – some for hours leading up to the event, some on the night itself, and some even just offering their assistance even when there was enough support. We as Croatians always get together and unite as one. We as Croatian Catholics do more than just that – we offer hope and love beyond all worldly things, and with God we make the impossible possible.
On the night itself much needed funds were raised and donations continued to roll in for weeks after. In total the sum of $40,873 was raised and transferred to Kap Dobrote. A fantastic effort that will go a long way this winter for many that are suffering. But it does not end there. Every day God gives us opportunities to carry out his works. Let’s not rest all year and wait for the annual fundraiser to do good. Use every day to its fullest, visit someone who is lonely, call someone that needs help, pray for others. As Croatians, we are strong people. As Croatian Catholics, we are God’s warriors, Soldiers for Christ.
Thank you to all who volunteered and made this event such a memorable occasion. To those that helped set up and clean up the hall, to the home chefs that put on the feast and the kitchen helpers, to the emcees and band for entertaining us, to those that donated cakes and items for the raffle and auction, to the food servers, coffee makers and barmen, to the Knights who organised the whole event – and most importantly to all of you who attended and supported this initiative, a big massive THANK YOU – God bless you all!!!
Bog i Hrvati
For Kap Dobrote official thank you letter see here – zahvalnica za donaciju-Knights od Precious Blood