Last night we wrapped up our final Awesome Newcastle of the year in The Criterion‘s beer garden. The fading summer light and cold beverage combo was a perfect way to see out our last hurrah.This evening was open to the public, so along with our regular board and finalists we saw familiar faces from past events. Several previous guest board members showed up just for fun, and we put sacks out for each finalist in case anyone felt inclined to give during the night.
We had one first-time-guest-board-member this evening, Simone Le Mesurier of The IV Lounge and Hunter Allied Care. Four returning star guest board members joined us as well, Ty Brennock of Monica Clare Recruitment Jacqui Daley of The Measured Marketer, consultant Amir Antebi and Wayde Christie of The Village of Useful .
We welcomed back returning finalists, all three of whom made earlier appearances this year. We had Murrie Harris of The Singing Drummer, Peter Di Girolamo of Macquarie Care, and Nerida Bint of Lissome Gym.
Murrie flew in off his motorcycle and kicked off the night explaining his Singing Drummer idea, a rock and roll card game where the player must build bands, avoiding the pitfalls of rock and roll. The one and only singing drummer is the most powerful card in the game. Since their last Awesome Newcastle in September, he’s copyrighted the game and now his main priority is to get it designed and printed properly.
Next up Peter Di Girolamo told us more about his work at Macquarie Care and his passion for helping the homeless. When he last spoke at Awesome Newcastle back in April he talked about their Car to Home project which gives people living out of their cars a safe place to stay and access to their kitchen and bathroom facilities. He spoke about this project again and how he’d love to use the Awesome funding to get a washer and dryer for people using their space, so they can have dignity and privacy.
Last Nerida spoke. When she was an Awesome finalist back in March she told us about how mental health and eating disorders are becoming an epidemic in today’s society – affecting our young women particularly with the rise of social media. She touched on this again and told us how Lissome runs a program for teenage girls which is designed to help them not only with physical fitness but also confidence and making new friends. She’d use the money to help sponsor girls to join the program so its accessible to everyone.
We applauded our excellent finalists, and then we cleared the room for the board members to discuss and debate. Many of the board members had seen the finalists present before, so it was an extra challenging decision.
But votes must be cast and cash must be splashed, so we had Simone come up and award The Singing Drummer $1000 cash. But because this was an Awesome Newcastle Open to the Public, generous attendees donated to their favourite finalists, and no one of our walked away empty handed. In fact, two attendees of the night approach Peter after the event and told him they wanted to pay directly for his washer and dryer in honour of their friend Ebony.
It couldn’t have been a better way to end the year. Thank you to all our generous board members, applicants and supporters who keep Awesome going. If you have an Awesome idea or want to be a guest board member, please get in touch for 2020!
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next year!