Last night I brushed my hair for the first time in a month, slapped on some make up and attended the most awesome event. It was an annual fundraiser for the Starfish Great Hearts Foundation in aid of orphaned and vulnerable children. The event was previously held in Melville, but has now grown so large that it is hosted in Melrose Arch. The entire length of the High Street was decorated in a 70’s theme and there were tables stretching the whole way down so that you could dine under the stars. There were fairy lights, dancers, singers, drag queens, funky outfits, the campest restaurant manager known to man, and a great compere – Jeremy Mansfield.
There were a few celebrities there, but of course we didn’t recognise anyone as we are from the UK! It was free seating and we sat with some great guys – a Brit couple who have lived here 15 years or so after only coming here for 2 (glimpse into the future for us?!) and a couple of South African’s, who were awesome and gave us great tips of places to check out whilst we are here. We had such a laugh. The restaurant that we chose had a retro menu – we had prawn cocktail, beef wellington and baked alaska.
R250 000 was raised via auction. A lot of people made a great effort and were dressed up in 70’s costumes – there were afro’s everywhere! The only downside to the event was that it was a tad on the cold side dining outdoors as summer is not yet in full swing, but at least it wasn’t a thunderstorm like the previous couple of nights. I was a little smug as I took a leather jacket and a scarf just in case, although Rob had a thin jumper on.
At everyone’s place setting there was a Starfish bracelet, and with it came this story:
An old man had a habit of early morning walks along the beach. One day as he looked down the shore he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing, but reaching down to the sand, picking up starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean. “Young lady, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” he asked. “The sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die,” she replied. “But there are millions of them, what difference can it possibly make?” he asked. The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying “It made a difference to that one!”.
I really love that story. It is adapted from Loren Eisely’s ‘The Star Thrower’. It struck a chord with me as I have recently been wondering just what I can do in the couple of years that I am here to help. There are so many charities and people in need. How do you choose which one, and do you only associate yourself with one cause and do as much as you can for them, or do you spread yourself out to help lots of different causes less often? This story helped me take a step back and realise that no matter how small the action, it could really help someone more than you realise so I shouldn’t stress too much with my decision.
Starfish Great Hearts Foundation is an international charity so if you would like to get involved in any way then click through here and check them out. It’s for a great cause.