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Trish MS New York, New York Ball


What do Professor Peter Russell, Trish Foundation honorary Scientific Research Committee member, and Gemma Dooley, Trish’s cricket mate have in common?   

Anoosh Saffari, Carol & Roy Langsford, Jason Wang, Volvo Cars Sydney presentation of Plaque of Appreciation

They, along with the majority of guests in the Ballroom at Hilton Sydney for the Trish MS New York, New York Ball, were completely deceived by the sensational performance of The Three Waiters. 

Sophisticated, spontaneous and loads of fun, The Three Waiters are three talented opera singers who posed as real waiters, hoaxing and amusing guests at the Ball, before revealing themselves as singing waiters in a thrilling operatic performance.  They were joined by talented soprano Toni Powell, creating great excitement in the Ballroom, which also rocked later in the evening to the awesome music of Jellybean Jam.

Led very capably by Celebrity MC Leigh Sales, host of the ABC’s 7.30, supporters came from far and wide to generously contribute to the over $200,000 raised for high quality MS Research Projects, including funding for two Incubator Grants.  Leigh was joined by the Joint Patrons of the Foundation, Dr Brendan Nelson and Barry O’Farrell, special guests Ken and Wilma Rosewall, Hon John Alexander MP, some of the world’s most eminent MS scientists, generous Corporate VIP Sponsors and valued Trish supporters, all of whom contributed to the funds raised.

Following an appearance by Donald Trump, alias Ball Committee member Phil Newman, the Ball opened with a moving Video Presentation, produced pro bono by DMC Digital, honouring Mia Polykarpou who lost her battle with MS in 2015.  Mia and her Executor Paul Russell, honoured the Trish Foundation by making a substantial bequest, and the Video Presentation was a fitting tribute to this fun, vivacious, generous woman.

One of the highlights of the evening was the awarding of the Trish MS Research Award to the Foundation’s Joint Patrons, Dr Brendan Nelson and Barry O’Farrell.  Both gentlemen have generously and significantly supported the Trish Foundation since inception and both caringly visited Trish in the nursing home.

Guests had the privilege of listening to Leigh Sales interviewing Dr Steven Petratos PhD, who is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Regenerative Neuroscience and Development Laboratory, in the Department of Neuroscience, Central Clinical School at Monash University. Leigh also interviewed Karen Kumar, a partner in a Law Firm and mother of four who is living with MS. 

Dr Petratos said his team has made some significant advances over the last couple of years.  “We’ve defined biological mechanisms of how to remyelinate the nervous system and the next step for us is getting a small molecule to be able to cross the blood brain barrier and hopefully repair and protect the nervous system.  Without the generous support of everyone and further research funding in this area we wouldn’t be able to progress the research to the stage where it could go into clinical trials.”

Karen Kumar shared her feelings when she was diagnosed with MS.  “Literally I woke up one morning and my life was changed.”  Karen added, “I’m one of the lucky ones in that there’s a lot of medications available for me that weren’t available for people who came before me”.

Dr Brendan Nelson gave a memorable speech prior to the Live Auction, which was conducted by the Foundation’s honorary Auctioneer since inception, Craig Marshall, Savills Gordon and Andrew Mason, Sew and Sew Wines, assisted by Auction MC Phil Newman.  Dr Nelson also spoke passionately about the Australian War Memorial experience he donated and which greatly contributed to the funds raised for research.

Trish’s mother, Chair of the Trish Foundation said, “We were thrilled to shine a light on the researchers who work tirelessly to unlock the mystery of MS and ultimately Kiss Goodbye to MS.  Our Ball this year took us to over $5 million raised for their vital research and it is an absolute privilege and honour to raise funds for their important work.”

“We are incredibly grateful to our generous Sponsors, donors and awesome Trish supporters who have supported the Foundation since inception in 2000, all of whom have contributed to the $5 million the Trish Foundation has raised.  From the pensioner who donated $10 in 2001 with an apology that she couldn’t donate more, to the extraordinary generosity of our Major Corporate Sponsors, every single person, Company and organisation is greatly valued and appreciated, as are ‘Team Trish’ – all our hard-working volunteers, Ball Committee members, Board members and Bar Committee members.”

The Trish Foundation is blessed to receive the valued support of exceptionally generous Donors, Sponsors, Corporate VIP tables and Supporters, to whom we are truly indebted.  Please click here for our Trish MS New York, New York Ball Roll of Honour.  Our heartfelt appreciation also to our hard-working volunteers who give their valuable time year after year and make a significant contribution to the Trish Foundation.

Trish Foundation & MS Research Australia Working together to find a cure for MS
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