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A Valentine's Day with a difference

Love truly was in the air on Valentine's Day as 160 guests gathered in the Fitzroy Ballroom at Sofitel on Collins for the Catholic Mission Valentine’s Day High Tea. Unlike some other Valentine's events, however, the love in question was for fellow humans in need. With Melbourne Catholic.

This is the second year of the Catholic Mission Valentine’s Day High Tea and like last year was filled with fun, laughter and giving.

The High Tea raised funds and awareness for various Catholic Mission projects in Cambodia along with projects in Ethiopia like the Kidist Mariam Pastoral Centre, which addresses the gender imbalance by investing in education for women, providing local women the opportunity to acquire skills, develop experience and find employment.

The event also helped the Eden Garden’s Children's Home in Nagaland, India where 250 children from remote and disadvantaged backgrounds are given access to education, as well as a safe home that fulfils their physical and spiritual needs.

Working with the support of the office staff to bring this event into reality, organiser Dr Lorraine Valledares was able to procure twenty-seven corporate sponsors for Catholic Mission, and others who wished to remain anonymous.

‘One of our wise Gold Corporate donors of 20 years said that his company, Environment Essentials is helping to sponsor the projects because he trusts in the work Catholic Mission is doing,’ Lorraine said.

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‘It was edifying to meet so many people of strong faith, and we rejoiced and thanked all who supported our Catholic Mission St Valentine’s High Tea event,’ said Lorraine Valledares, right.

Even though the three projects focused were worthwhile, Dr Tim Hamilton (a donor) was especially enthusiastic about the investment in women’s education in Ethiopia, believing that education alone can raise the standard of living and offer the opportunity to earn an income. He stated that it was a sound investment for those women, their families and their whole community, as education is not only a key to understanding the world but also helps form healthy relationships which lead to making better decisions in life.

With a raffle and an auction table, the event was filled with a suite of prizes that encouraged attendees to have a fun evening.

The set of prizes for the auction were highlighted on a large screen and auctioneer Nunzio Sulfaro—an expert in the real estate world—brought some razzmatazz to the proceedings.

All were delighted with the 16 raffle prizes that could be won which resulted in raising a huge number of donations on the day.

Kevin Meese, Diocesan Director of Catholic Mission Melbourne, said, ‘The people attending our event are a source of inspiration to others and I’m most grateful to them for their generosity.'

The food was beautifully presented and suited both sweet and savoury taste buds. Appropriately, there were some young lovers present in the room and Lorraine was chuffed as they told her they couldn’t fit in another morsel—so no need to head out for another dinner.

‘It was edifying to meet so many people of strong faith, and we rejoiced and thanked all who supported our Catholic Mission St Valentine’s High Tea event,’ said Lorraine. ‘How fitting then to end with the theme we used for the high tea: a quote from St Mother Teresa which says it all: Intense love does not measure. It just gives.’