Tracey hangs up her fundraising fascinator
HER events were famous for being lavish, successful fundraising occasions everyone wants to be part of, but now Ballina's Tracey Everyingham-Armstrong has hung up her fundraising fascinator.
Her signature event was the annual Melbourne Cup luncheon at Lennox Head's Beef+Beach, and this year the party went off.
The 2019 soiree raised $22,000 for a total of $36,600 between the 2018 and 2019 events. Around $30,000 from that will pay for an all-inclusive carousel into a new park that will be built in the Lennox Head foreshore in late 2020.
The rest of the money raised, around $5000, will go to benefit local young girl Molly Black to fit a special room in her house with special equipment.
After 20 years organising the fundraisers on her own, raising a family and working part time as a stylist in Lennox Head, Tracey has decided to take a break.
The fundraiser has donated more than $400,000 for a number of community-supporting projects through the last two decades, including a $64,000 donation to Southern Cross Special Unit for a 22-seater bus with wheelchair access.
She has also raised $180,000 for Biala Support Services in Ballina over the year for a number of different projects.
"Never say never, I may be back later on to fundraise again, who knows?" she said.
Mrs Everingham-Armstrong has always added an element of surprise and fun in her black-tie events, including one that saw guests in handcuffs.
"Once I organised a mystery bus tour that ended up at Mark Burrows' place; we had two buses and I organised for the police to stop the buses mid-way as a prank," she said.
"I organised this with the superiors in Tweed Heads. Go big or go home.
"Both buses were pulled over, 120 people in total, all in their black tie regalia. They actually handcuffed one really well-known lady to her seat, and then the police asked for a gold coin donation to get of the bus as part of the fundraiser. Everyone was stunned," she said.
Mrs Everingham-Armstrong is keen for a younger generation of fundraisers to follow up her steps.
"People love to get dressed up, men can get their suits on and women can wear their diamantes... we don't have enough chances of doing that here and fundraising for a good cause is a great excuse!" she said.