Make March Purple - 2023 Recap
We’ve reached the end of yet another Make March Purple, but what a month it was! From dedicated community fundraisers to our inaugural Purple Supper, Brisbane Roar FC charity partnership, pharmacies and businesses selling merch, and heaps more, Make March Purple 2023 was a huge success. Our community rallied around epilepsy awareness and painted Queensland purple all throughout March. Let’s take a look at the month that was!
The Purple Supper
We kicked off the month under crystal chandeliers at Smoked Garage for The Purple Supper, an exclusive fundraising event where we called on our corporate and community contacts to help us raise vital funds. We heard from our Patron Wally Lewis and Chairman Sam Bryce who spoke about their personal experiences with epilepsy, along with community member Jacalyn, who shared a heart-breaking story of her daughter Ember’s journey with rare KCNT1 epilepsy. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after Jacalyn addressed the crowd and we thank her for her vulnerability and bravery in sharing Ember’s story.
We are proud to announce that the event raised a total of just over $207,000 and we could not be more grateful to those who contributed on the night, through pledges, donations, purchasing auction items or by simply attending.
A special thank you to our event sponsors Cerebral Therapeutics, Hutchinson Builders and HQ Projex; our MC Olympia Kwitowski for dazzling the crowd; Helping Hand Group and our auction prize donors; as well as Smoked Garage and the team for hosting such a spectacular event.
Check out our Facebook Photo Gallery for a sneak peek into the night that was!
Brisbane Roar FC Partnership
Our partnership with Brisbane Roar FC continued for another year, albeit bigger and better than ever before.
Players Jordan Courtney-Perkins, Henry Hore and Carlo Armiento took on the Purple Muck Challenge and shared our message, that every 33 minutes a life is turned upside down by epilepsy. Watch the video here.
On March 18, the team took to the field at a home game at Kayo Stadium in a special, limited edition, purple charity kit featuring the Epilepsy Queensland logo. The match-worn and signed kits were then placed up for auction, with proceeds being donated to our organisation. The auction is live until 5pm on March 31, so click here to place your bid.
Our new plush lions were a hit on game day, and so was Little Poss who got to step out onto the field for the coin toss!
Find more photos in our Facebook Photo Gallery.
After 18 months of training runs, raffles and raising awareness, Mt Perry’s Senior Constable Tom Mort set off on his 215km Legacy 200 journey. His plan to run from My Perry to Bundaberg and back may have been cut short, thanks to an ankle injury, but Tom’s persistence and dedication paid off, raising over $20,000 (over double his original goal!).
A little closer to home, the Toowong community came together for Bowling for Millie – an afternoon of barefoot bowls, BBQ and raffles that raised almost $8,500! The crowd heard from Hon Mick de Brenni MP, our CEO Chris and of course, the guest of honour herself Millie Walsh, who lives with epilepsy. A special thanks to West Toowong Bowls Club for hosting, Toowong Village Meats and the Walsh family for putting on an exceptional Purple Day celebration.
There were plenty of other exceptional fundraisers across the state, hosting morning teas, taking on personal challenges, getting #MuckedForEpilepsy, and overall raising awareness. We cannot thank you all enough for your support and for helping us turn things around for people with epilepsy. If you have any photos from your own Make March Purple celebrations, we would love to see them! Send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
This year we introduced our newest purple plush friend, Rory the Lion! He was an absolute hit, especially at the Brisbane Roar game, and we are thrilled that you love him as much as we do.
Thank you to all of the participating pharmacies across Queensland who registered to sell merchandise on our behalf. A number of you went above and beyond, decorating the whole pharmacy purple, wearing purple, and helping us generally raise awareness.
Another huge thank you to Followmont Transport for delivering our merchandise pro bono, allowing us to reach Queenslanders across the state. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Our bridge banners returned once again, spreading our Make March Purple message to Brisbane motorists between 13 – 26 March. The four locations this year included the Story Bridge outbound, Hale Street Pedestrian Bridge, Rokeby Terrace Taringa and Turbot St CBD.
We had almost 50 purple illuminations bathing cities and towns across Queensland in purple hues. From Brisbane to Cairns, there were plenty of iconic landmarks illuminated purple including the Story Bridge, the Gabba, Rockhampton’s Riverside Precinct, Fig Trees in Bundaberg, and Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville. If you managed to spot any purple illuminations this year, send your photos through to email@example.com
Epilepsy awareness continued in the media this month, with our team securing a record number of media opportunities across digital, print, radio and television. We shared important community stories, showcasing the real life impact of epilepsy. Thank you to Ember and Jacalyn Kerr, Ruby and Courtney Franklin, Millie and Katie Whapham, Kay Guascoine, Alison Jackson, and the Legacy 200 crew (Tom and Mallory Mort, Deb and Chris Tibbotts) for being #brave and stepping up to share your story with the media. We will be sharing some of these media opportunities across our social media channels so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or you can find them at our Latest News page.
We were also pleased to see so many people once again taking part in our upside down social media challenge, sharing an upside down photo to demonstrate that an epilepsy diagnosis truly turns lives upside down. We also had a number of organisations share our message through social media that we would like to thank, including Windsor Group (who appointed us as their charity of the month for March), Pharmacy Guild of Australia, CPL – Choice, Passion, Life, Stroke Foundation, Autism Queensland, CheckUp Australia, Endeavour Foundation, Brisbane North and Western Queensland PHNs.
Overall, we are so thrilled and grateful to our community for helping us turn things around for Queenslanders with epilepsy this Make March Purple. Your support across the entire month of March was incredible and we could not have achieved what we did without you!
Bring on 2024!