Earlier this month, donors, supporters and beneficiaries of Hand Heart Pocket came together for the Year in Review Event, which was just as much about the organisation’s achievements over the past 12 months, as it was about the future.
Held in the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre at South Bank, on November 6, the uplifting evening was a showcase of the organisations empowered by Hand Heart Pocket this year, while being the perfect backdrop for the launch of the long-term plan and Christmas Appeal.
Chairman, Tom Wiltshire began the evening by launching “Our Strategy 2018-2024” during which he screened a short and engaging whiteboard video to explain how the long-term plan was developed and what steps would be taken to ensure the philanthropic work of Freemasons could continue for the next 100 years. It also showed the role that members played in shaping the organisation’s future direction.
Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark was next to address the audience, detailing how the management team worked to achieve the target outcome set out in the Interim Strategic Plan 2016-2017 in order to lay the foundations for a longer-term plan. He also revealed that this year, Hand Heart Pocket, through the distribution of its charitable funds had impacted more Queenslanders than ever before.
The highlight of the evening was when guests heard directly from the organisations that experienced the generosity of Hand Heart Pocket this year including, 3rd Space (formerly 139 Club), Camp Quality, Women’s Legal Service Queensland, and Bloomhill Cancer Care (on behalf of COUCH). Divided into groups, guests moved from station to station to hear about the unique challenges faced by each of these charities and the impact of Hand Heart Pocket’s donation on their clients and services. Investment Advisors Cambridge Associates also spoke about how they worked with Hand Heart Pocket to develop its investment strategy and policy, which is set to play a huge part in allowing Hand Heart Pocket to deliver on its mission.
Another moving part of the night was the official launch of the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal, with members from Mitchell Masonic Lodge presenting the first Lodge donation towards the Appeal. This year the Christmas Appeal is dedicated to the Grand Master’s wife’s chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital Foundation, with 100% of all donations, helping to fund vital rehabilitation equipment and services at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, where thousands of critically ill or injured children from across Queensland are treated each year.
It was only fitting that Freemason and founder of the Joyful Foundation, Ron Donnellan said a heartfelt few words to endorse the Appeal, after the 2016 Christmas Appeal benefited his charity in North Queensland. Ron was proud to give an update on the expansion of their program which provides the basic essentials to the region’s disadvantaged primary school students, empowering them to reach their full potential. He called on all those gathered to dig deep, saying that he would be an advocate for the 2017 Christmas Appeal upon his return to Townsville.
Hand Heart Pocket would like to thank all those who attended the inspirational evening and for their ongoing support, as the organisation looks to continue its legacy of charity and benevolence by becoming one of the state’s top charities, providing vital support for the people of Queensland and Papua New Guinea for years to come.