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A Top Hats and Tiaras Community Fundraiser Cocktail Party at the Clocktower Hotel in Grafton last week, raised more than $5000 for the 2021 Jacaranda Festival and introduced the 2021 Jacaranda Queen candidates to the community. Image: Emma Pritchard.

Top hats, tiaras and a top night for fundraising

Emma Pritchard

It was a glittering night of fun and fashion, renewed friendships, live entertainment and colourful festivities at the Clocktower Hotel on May 7, when six incredible young women were officially introduced to the crowd as they commenced their journeys as our 2021 Jacaranda Queen candidates.

Hanna Craig, Ella Gilbert, Breeanna Paine, Ella Sear, Jessica Munro and Natalie Van der Klei smiled proudly as they greeted attendees at the Top Hats and Tiaras Community Fundraiser Cocktail Party, before quickly getting down to the formal business of fundraising for the 2021 Grafton Jacaranda Festival.

As the evening progressed, raffle ticket sales increased, tremendous prizes including a luxury weekend away for two in Mudgee were won by a very lucky and extremely happy Tristan Trinidad, and Festival Creative Director and host Desan Padayachee spoke enthusiastically, and he commented on the large number of attendees.

The event was also a formal introduction for Enid McKew, the 2021 Matron of Honour elect, who was warmly welcomed by 2019 Matron of Honour Suzanne Campbell.

Describing herself as very humbled to be nominated for such a prestigious role, Mrs McKew said she is looking forward to the beginning of the festival later this year, adding she is relieved to not be one of the judges as it would be “too difficult to choose just one of the amazing ladies to be the 2021 Jacaranda Queen.”

Ashton Blackadder, the 2019 Jacaranda Queen, and Dana McKew, the 2019 Jacaranda Princess, also spoke during the evening with both ladies welcoming the 2021 candidates and wishing them all the best for their upcoming adventures and exciting experiences as ambassadors for the Clarence Valley community.

As she addressed the crowd, Miss McKew thanked the attendees for supporting the new candidates and urged the community to also support the festival following its unfortunate cancellation in 2020. Describing the Top Hats and Tiaras Community Fundraiser Cocktail Party as a huge success, Festival Manager Mark Blackadder happily revealed the event raised $5177, and he confident it is a sign of things to come as the 2021 Jacaranda Festival draws closer each day.

“The community support has been phenomenal,” he said.

“It was amazing to see so many people at the event and I hope the crowd numbers stay high as more and more events are held.”

The Clarence Valley Independent will officially introduce the 2021 Jacaranda Queen candidates to our readers in an upcoming edition. Don’t miss out!