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President's Blog - 15 January 2014

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Happy New Year Everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are now finding a way to keep cool in this intense heat!!!

New Year is such a great time each year as it inevitably leads to reflection on the past year and looking/planning ahead for what's to come. As I stop to reflect on 2013, I am pleased with the outcomes. Personally, it was a big year for me. Making a career change away from practicing law and into the not-for-profit sector (as an Arts fundraiser) was a major undertaking for me. Much deliberation and thought went into my decision and I am so thankful for the support of my family and friends (including my AWA friends) who helped guide me through this transition.

For AWA it was also a year of major changes. As most of you know, in July 2013 we voted to change our name from "The American Women's Auxiliary to the Royal Children's Hospital" to "The American Women's Association". This decision was based on a desire to keep our organisation fresh and current and to appeal to a broader range of supporters, reconfirming our dual purpose of being a social/networking organisation for American families and a philanthropic supporter of the RCH. Again, I am thankful for the support of those who helped usher in this change as I believe it will assist our organisation to grow and thrive for years to come!

In addition to 2013 being a year of change for the AWA, it was also a year of great joy and wonderful fundraising efforts! I hope you agree that the AWA's social events in 2013 were top notch - from our monthly Night Meetings and social drinks (which a number of Board Members hosted at their homes) to our Easter Eggstravaganza to our Thanksgiving Event - so much fun was had! And our fundraising efforts were exceptional as well, with unique and interesting fundraising events such as The Block Arcade's Memories of Melbourne, Kicks and Kroks and our fantastic Halloween Event! As most of you know, in March 2013 we transferred approximately $197,000 to the RCH, earmarked to the Children's Bioethics Centre. Additionally, we raised over another $50,000 during the remainder of the year - what a fantastic effort! All of this was only made possible due to the commitment and dedication of our members!! Thank you all!

Looking ahead, I am excited about what 2014 holds - for me personally as well as for AWA! We plan to have another year of great social events and engaging fundraising activities. I look forward to catching up with all of you in the New Year and I hope to see you at an AWA event soon!

Many kind regards


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