It was all about games, glamour and a bit of luck at the Vegas-themed Bean Counters Ball held on Saturday 27 May 2023.
The event saw a record-breaking total of $51,000 raised for charity partners, Samaritans and Hunter TAFE Foundation.
A joint initiative between local members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia has now raised over $300,000 since its launch in 2011.
This was the eleventh instalment of the Bean Counters Ball, which took place at The Newcastle Exhibition Centre (NEX).
The event was made possible with the generous support of their sponsors, in particular the Platinum Sponsors, Gillard Family Lawyers and Rapsey Griffiths.
Another record was smashed, with the event a sell-out at 450 attendees, who all enjoyed playing on the gaming tables, comedian Chris Ryan cracking some jokes, an Elvis Presley impersonator providing the perfect welcome and music throughout the night from Marissa Saroca and The Freetones.
Chair of the Bean Counters Ball and Former Deputy Chair of the CPA Australia’s Newcastle & Hunter branch, Gerhard Bierman was overwhelmed by the positive response to the Ball.
“We were looking forward to holding the event again in 2023, but to have a record number of attendees, and the amount of money raised was the cherry on top of a fantastic event,” Gerhard said.
“The committee and I all received fantastic feedback from the guests, saying they were blown away with the entertainment, space and the speeches from the representatives of the charity partners.”
Two people who had been supported by the Hunter TAFE Foundation and Samaritans took to the stage to emphasise the importance of fundraising on the night.
TAFE student, Tori explained the value the Bean Counters Ball scholarship had given her, allowing her to study with financial support while she continued to look after her two young daughters.
Tori was then followed by Bree, a student living in the Samaritans Student Accommodation which provides accommodation and support for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who are at risk or have experienced homelessness.
Bree reminded guests of how the money raised at the event continues to support students like herself to find stable accommodation while studying.
To conclude the formalities of the event, the prestigious Young Achiever Award in partnership with Hunter Young Professionals (hyp), was awarded to Kiraley Martin from Lake Macquarie City Council.
Kiraley is the Chief Information Officer at the Council and is a former bean counter and a proud Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA).
She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion and is firmly committed to helping people gain better access to equal opportunities in the Hunter region, especially in education.
Kiraley is focused on using her leadership skills to benefit the community through her positions on the Board of the Hunter TAFE Foundation, and the Equal Futures Project.
Co-Chair of the Bean Counters Ball and Chair of the local Newcastle and Hunter chapter of Chartered Accountants, Daniel Drayton said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless work of the committee and the generosity of the sponsors and guests on the night.
“We had a goal to beat our fundraising from 2022, and we couldn’t believe we almost doubled it, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the committee and the attendees,” Daniel said.
“We now have big shoes to fill for 2024, so we encourage everyone to get involved and help us raise even more money at our next event!”