JACARANDA: Getting the ball rolling in uncertain times
COMMUNITY and business confidence is paramount in these testing times and Clarence Valley NDIS provider Caringa Australia is leading the charge.
It supports that view here by returning as major sponsor of the Jacaranda Festival's gala opening night ball this year.
The organisation was so impressed by what its saw at 2019's sold-out event, it is increasing its contribution by half to $15,000 to ensure an even bigger and better event in 2020.
Caringa chief executive officer Rachel Choy said the Caringa board was delighted with the inclusiveness, outcome, and professionalism of last year's event and glad to be back on board.
"One of Caringa's motivations for the increase in sponsorship is to support the community during these uncertain times," Ms Choy said.
"We believe that supporting the festival in this way not only confirms our optimism and confidence in the Jacaranda Festival but also our ongoing commitment to our community."
She said supporting the festival was a natural extension of the organisation's practice of supporting the community through acts such as buying local which was more important now than ever.
"It also allows Caringa to continue to push the boundaries of disability understanding, inclusion and engagement which is at the heart of everything that we do," she said.
Ms Choy said the festival provided the perfect platform for Caringa to work with a longstanding event which had given many years of pleasure and excitement to its clients, staff and the broader Clarence Valley community.
"I hope the Grafton community saw (at last year's ball) the uniqueness of individuals who have all the same wants and aspirations as themselves, and looked beyond their disability," she said.
The festival's new president Nicholas Buckler said the increased sponsorship would mean an even more exciting ball.
"We're thrilled to have Caringa on board again as the key sponsor for the opening event of the festival, an event which sets the tone for the following 10 days of celebrations," Mr Buckler said.
"The increase in sponsorship will allow for some additions to what was a terrific festival last year and for us to provide an even better experience for everyone who attends."
Mr Buckler said despite current restrictions due to the coronavirus, the festival committee was planning a big 2020 program while remaining mindful of changing government guidelines.
"The Jacaranda (Festival) season is far enough away that the committee is able to work as if it's business as usual at the moment," he said.
"We'll obviously notice some differences, particularly with an expected downturn in international visitors, however we will be targeting intra and interstate attendees.
"We are all working hard on a full program for the 2020 event with some really exciting new features to be announced in the coming months."
With Caringa already committing to this year's ball Mr Buckler said the festival crew were confident and excited about the next few months.
"We rely on the sponsorship of fantastic organisations like Caringa to deliver a world-class festival," he said.
"Our goal is to ensure it remains a must-attend event for a diverse mix of people, locals and visitors alike."
There will be more details on the Caringa Ball's entertainment line-up and menu announced shortly, with tickets available from the Jacaranda Festival website soon.
The 2020 Grafton Jacaranda Festival will take place from Friday, October 30 to Sunday, November 8. The 10- day event is the oldest floral festival in Australia.