When I received an email late in 2013 asking me to be part of an event in early 2014 called Dancing CEOs, my initial response was ‘you’ve got to be kidding!’ I’d never even done ballet as a child, so the idea of performing two ballroom dances in front of a crowd was intimidating to say the least, and I’d watched enough episodes of Dancing with the Stars to know how difficult it could be.
As I read on and discovered that the purpose of the event was to support Women’s Legal Service and the work they do in providing free legal and social work services to women in QLD, my response quickly changed from ‘there’s no way I can do this’ to ‘there’s no way I can’t do this.’
Domestic violence is an absolute blight on our society, and with more than one Australian woman each week on average losing their life at the hands of a current or former partner, we all have an obligation to do what we can to change that horrible statistic. It also hit a personal chord, with one of our former team members sadly having suffered this terrible fate several years ago. I knew that this was something that the Epic Pharmacy team would fully get behind as a way of honoring the memory of our former colleague, so I sent back an email saying yes.
The dance lessons started, and I quickly realised that there was no latent dancer lurking within me waiting to be unlocked, and I may well be about to make a very public spectacle of myself. My wonderful dancing partner had the patience of a saint, and stayed positive no matter how many times I fumbled my steps and stood on his toes. To say that I was out of my comfort zone would be the biggest understatement ever and I would’ve dearly loved to pull the plug on the whole thing. Unfortunately though there were constant reminders of the importance of both the funds and the awareness being raised by the event, as the almost daily media reports of yet another despicable act of domestic violence illustrated how enormous this problem is, and it made it very easy to put my fear of making a fool of myself into perspective.
The evening approached all too quickly, and while I knew I was never going to set the dance floor alight, it ended up being a lot of fun. There was a great camaraderie between the CEOs as we all found ourselves to be in a pretty similar place with much better business skills than dance moves! With the support of the Epic Pharmacy team, I was absolutely thrilled to be awarded People’s Choice Champion; not for my dancing talents (unsurpisingly!) but as the highest fundraiser.
After successfully raising nearly $67 000 last year for Women’s Legal Service, this years Dancing CEOs event is being held on Friday March 27 at Brisbane City Hall and we’re all hoping to see that fundraising number exceeded. You can buy tickets or donate to any of the CEOs participating here.
We all need to be uncomfortable about the level of domestic violence which is present in our society, and do whatever we can to change those horrible statistics. Whether that means potentially making a fool of yourself on a public stage in the name of funds and awareness, or digging deep and contributing funds to support services such as Women’s Legal Service, or having open discussions that are followed up with action, we can all play a role.
I’m wishing this years CEOs all the best with their dancing, but more importantly with their fundraising, as its the thing that will make a real difference long after their blisters heal and the glitter is confined to the back of their wardrobe.
Some photo highlights from last year…