Office Everything’s Benjamin Sharpe and Mildura Specialist School’s Cathie Toma are ready to party ahead of the inaugural Masked Carnival fund-raising event. The cocktail-themed fund-raiser is aiming to raise much-needed dollars for Mallee Accommodation and Support Program and the Mildura Specialist School. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

EXCITEMENT is running high ahead of the inaugural ‘Masked Carnival’ fund-raising event.

To be held at the Quality Hotel Mildura Grand on Saturday, July 28, from 7pm, the cocktail-themed fund-raiser is aiming to raise much-needed dollars for Mallee Accommodation and Support Program (MASP) and the Mildura Specialist School.

Funds raised will help MASP continue to deliver community-based programs dedicated to reducing incidents of homelessness, poverty, abuse and disadvantage in the community, while for Mildura Specialist School, funds will aid efforts to provide a safe, respectful and inclusive learning environment.

The Masked Carnival is the brainchild of Sunraysia residents and Office Everything and eManaged employees Benjamin Sharpe and Ivan and Julius Jenssen, with Benjamin saying the first-time event had already exceeded fund-raising expectations.

“When we first came up with the idea it was about engaging with the community,” he said. “We knew we wanted to raise money for some worthy organisations, and we couldn’t think of two better groups than MASP and the Mildura Specialist School.

“We set out with a fund-raising goal of $10,000, and by all reports we’re going to well and truly exceed that figure.

“Whatever the final figure is, we’ll be splitting it between the two organisations, who can then put it towards worthwhile projects or programs they have on the go.”

The Masked Carnival will feature ex-North Melbourne Football Club star, and Australian ‘lambassador’, Sam Kekovich, as MC, with Sam to be joined by ex-Richmond Football Club stalwart John Rombotis.

“We’re so lucky to have secured the services of both Sam and John,” Benjamin said.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be talking to a celebrity like Sam Kekovich, who I’m sure will do a great job as MC.”

Also set for the night are live and silent auctions, raffles and much more, with students from the Mildura Specialist School creating special masks specifically for the event.

Masks will be available on the night for a gold coin donation, with all funds raised to go back to the school.

“There will be a fair bit of sporing memorabilia up for grabs as part of the auctions and raffles, with a number of local businesses donating goods as well,” Benjamin said.

Tickets are $100, and include three courses of canapés, beer, wine and soft drinks, with spirits available at bar prices.

Entertainment will be provided by band ‘The Beagles’.

Benjamin said the plan was to stage the Masked Carnival fund-raiser on a regular basis.

“Ticket sales for this first event are building, and ideally we’d love to sell all 300 tickets available and pack the place!” he said.

• More information, including ticket purchases, is available online at www.emanaged.com.au/getmasked.