Some months ago David had the honour of meeting the President of the Board of Management for Ronald McDonald House in Randwick (RMHR), Carolyn Townsend. RMHR provides a ‘home away from home’ for seriously ill children and their families undergoing treatment at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick. David has long held a desire to help sick children and so to cook for this fundraising event seemed a perfect opportunity.
After months of organising we presented an evening of cooking and dining to 30 guests. The night began with champagne and a tour of the House that accommodates over 700 families of gravely sick children each year. We were overwhelmed by the service provided but also saddened at the thought of families living in the small spaces for such long periods of time. On the flipside, the smiling faces of the volunteers were extremely heart-warming and the facilities provided were clearly making life easier in extremely difficult times. We also heard that Ronald McDonald House Randwick very sadly only lost seven children to childhood cancer out of those 700 families. A statistic inconceivable 10 years ago, since research has improved treatment through the hospital so much.
With lumps in our throats, we seated the guests at elegantly dressed tables and were welcomed by the new President of RMH Randwick, Ben Holden. David then took the reins and in his usual entertaining manner broke the ice and kicked off an evening filled with stories that frankly only a French accent can get away with. In between his crazy antics were first-hand accounts of great tragedy – little lost lives that are now being honoured by fundraising to renovate constantly used bedrooms, for the next family who comes along facing such challenges.
The menu was Chilli Garlic Prawns with Cous Cous, a tender Baby Lamb Rump with Moroccan Spice and Preserved Lemon Risotto and to finish, an incredible Croissant cake – generously provided by Sweet Art in Paddington that was decorated so delicately you just wanted to touch it to see if it was real. Inside was a dangerously rich moist Belgium chocolate cake. There was something incredibly great about serving such comfort food in such a heart wrenching environment.
Meanwhile behind the scenes we had the Financial Controller on dishes, The Director of Consulting on plating up and the Marketing Manager on making sure the wine glasses were filled at all times. Thank goodness for the expertise and direction of our Head Chef and Manager!
The high we all felt after being part of an emotional night was elating. We have all been buzzing since. To be able to do something special in order to help those facing such adversity was so fulfilling and to then hear that the night was a success from a fund raising point of view was simply the icing on the cake.
Thank you Ronald McDonald House for all that you do and for allowing us to be a small part of that We will simply never forget it.