Joanne Amplifies Parkinson’s Research with a Karaoke Fundraiser
Tuesday, 4th April 2023

Last year, ABC Sydney held an online auction, and winner Joanne Colquhoun of North Epping won the karaoke event. Joanne lives with Parkinson’s Disease and decided to run the event to raise funds for Shake It Up Australia and Dance for Parkinson’s Disease.

The event was a huge success! We chatted to Joanne all about her experience with the fundraiser.

Hi Joanne! Can you tell us a bit about the karaoke fundraiser you held and how it came about?

The event came about last December when I rang ABC Sydney radio and bid on a karaoke event with Suzanne Hill and Sarah McDonald. Suzanne picked me when the bid came to $3,500 which went to OzHarvest. I then wanted to support Parkinson’s by fundraising on the actual night of the karaoke event.

What was involved in getting the fundraising event organised?

There was a lot of serendipity involved in getting this event organised. I had support from Karen Miche who had already organised a similar event previously – she was an absolute god send! We met twice together to begin with to formulate what we needed for the flyer and a Facebook page to promote it. I had organised the food so the butcher donated the meat at cost price, and between Karen and myself we organised raffle prizes and silent auction holidays.

I asked everybody I knew whenever I saw them if they could come and help out. It was a real team effort in the end. I had Sarah, Karen and two others to help out as well on the night. Jane, Greg and Trisha served food. Narelle and Kathy and Karen collected and counted the money, and folded the raffle tickets.

We really appreciated the support of the North Epping Bowling Club, which does events such as this for people they know in the community and they don’t charge. Everybody pitches in and helps to get the place cleaned up and setup!

Why did you choose Shake It Up as one of the charities to fundraise for?

I chose Shake It Up Australia as it has such a good reputation, and because the money goes into research which is so badly needed.

How much have you raised for Parkinson’s so far?

So far we’ve raised over $2,600 and you can still support the event with a donation by visiting the fundraising page here.

What was the best part of the night?

Having Sarah and Suzanne from the ABC come along added a really nice buzz and excitement to the evening. We had a choir kick the evening off which was excellent, and Sarah was absolutely brilliant as MC.

What words of advice do you have for others wanting to organise a fundraisign event for Parkinson’s?

It’s imperative that you have a committee of sorts in order to make sure everything is covered. One person can’t think of everything of course! So getting a float together, recognising people don’t carry cash, working out the price and the cost that you want to charge people, organising prizes and thanking people. Having a group of people to help makes a lot of difference.

And lastly, what’s your go-to karaoke song!

I went with ‘Wake Up Little Susie’ by The Everly Brothers!

You can support Joanne by donating to her fundraising event for Parkinson’s here.

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