Mayor’s Charity Ball promises to be a ‘hot’ night in Havana

Published: 17 Mar 2023

The 2023 Mayor’s Charity Ball in May will bring a slice of Cuba to Mackay.

The theme for the Ball on Saturday, May 6, officially launched tonight (Friday, March 17), is Havana Nights.

There will be plenty of lush greenery at the MECC and the night promises to be “hot, hot, hot” on the dance floor, with the award-winning Salsa Kingz Band playing.

Mayor Greg Williamson said Havana Nights was the room theme for the Ball.

“Those attending will feel like they’ve taken a trip to Cuba for the night,’’ he said.

But the dress code for the Ball remained formal, Mayor Williamson said.

“It isn’t a fancy dress event, but ball-goers should feel free to accessorise to add to the Havana Nights feel,’’ he said.

This year’s ball will raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), to assist with operational costs of Ronald McDonald Family Room in Mackay, as well as Australian Street Aid Project, a Mackay charity in urgent need of funds to help support people experiencing homelessness.

It is the second year of sponsorship for the Ronald McDonald Family Room in Mackay, with Australian Street Aid replacing HeartKids Mackay, which has dropped out following its two years of tenure.

Australian Street Aid Project (ASAP) was established in 2018 by Mackay nurse Kayleigh Brewster.

She said the organisation had in recent months seen a dramatic increase in presentations of people experiencing homelessness in Mackay.

“Many of these people have one or more unmet medical needs.

“Homelessness is an isolating and scary experience, and chronic or acute pain contributes to both the difficulty of the journey and the feeling of hopelessness in finding a pathway out.

“There are many barriers to accessing healthcare for people experiencing homelessness, including transport, costs, disability, poor mental health, and lack of identification.

“We expect that this funding will allow us to eliminate many of the barriers to accessing healthcare faced by people experiencing homelessness.

“It will also enable us to assist more people to find sustainable accommodation options through case management that is targeted at people who have complex care needs.

“This funding will directly impact the lives of many disadvantaged people in our community, and we are delighted to be beneficiaries of this year's Mayors Charity Ball.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) North Australia CEO, Tamara South, extended her sincere thanks to Mayor Williamson for council’s continued commitment to local families, who call upon the Charity in their greatest time of need.

“Our heartfelt thanks to Mayor Greg Williamson and Mackay Regional Council for their continued and extraordinary support,’’ she said.

“Funds raised from the generous community of local sponsors and attendees of this year’s event will help to ensure that RMHC North Australia continues to be there to support Mackay regional families when they need it most.

“In the three months since its opening, the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Mackay Base Hospital has supported more than 250 local families, providing them with a warm and welcoming place to rest and recuperate away from the clinical environment of the hospital while still being only moments away from their sick child.”

The launch for sponsors and recipients was held tonight, with tickets for the Ball on sale from Monday through

Channel 7 fishing personality Scotty Hillier returns as emcee again this year. There will also be the usual gala charity auction.

Mayor Williamson said the Ball, organised by a committee made up of representatives of the community, the MECC and council, kept going from strength to strength each year.

He said sponsorship levels were at an all-time high, with some new sponsors coming onboard in 2023.

Platinum partners, including long-term sponsor DGH Engineering, Fergus and Daly Bay are back onboard.

Gold sponsors include new sponsors Key Solutions Group, BMA and returning gold sponsors Allure Laser and Skin Studio, Southern Cross Industrial Group and Champ.

Bronze sponsors are Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure.

Media partners include 7 News Mackay, Daily Mercury, Hit 100.3 and Triple M 98.7, as well as Tropical Exposure.

Inkind assistance is also provided by Signarama, Twilight Events and Mifsud’s Fresh Fruit Barn.