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Luton takes you to Santorini

Elizabeth Harris

Jealous of your jet-setter friends who all nicked off to Europe for the winter?

Still got that little green monster sitting on your shoulder whispering “you deserve to be basking on that Croatian beach more than her…”? Well, here’s your chance to right a grievous wrong and escape to Santorini. Sort of.

The Annual Luton Charity Ball whisks Canberrans off to a different exotic location every year (last year it was carnivalesque Rio de Janeiro), transforming the National Convention Centre into a holiday experience where you can escape the daily grind, all while giving to local charities.

“This year, the event has a Greek edge to it,” enthuses founder of Luton Properties, Richard Luton. Launching his real estate career in 1993, Richard has now been running Luton Properties for 18 years. The agency has sold over 12,000 homes over the course of its existence but has maintained a strong community focus.

Richard explains that “Our company is eighteen years old and the Ball is a nice opportunity to give [something] back, to people who need it.”

Indeed, the annual Ball has proved a true gift to the community – last year’s event raised over $160,000 for Lifeline, Menslink and Ozhelp.

This year, the three charities of choice are Hartley Lifecare, Project Independence and Karinya House, presented under the banner of ‘Homes for Hope’. “It’s a unifying theme,” explains Richard, “as we have three charities which all deal with homes.”

Explaining the choice of the beneficiaries, Richard says “We try to use a different charity every year and we like to focus on local charities … we looked at our options and there was very similar theme shared by these three.” Being in the business of buying and selling homes, Richard understands the importance of having a warm bed to go home to and a place to call your own.

Karinya House provides a sanctuary for pregnant and parenting women and, with a legacy of 20 years, was established at roughly the same time as Luton Properties. Over those years, Karinya House has provided support to over 5,500 women.

Project Independence supports individuals living with an intellectual disability and provides a new social housing alternative which allows people to live as independently as possible in a supported environment. Similarly, Hartley Lifecare facilitates accommodation support and respite care for children, adults and families in Canberra with physical and complex disabilities. If a night in a Mediterranean paradise wasn’t encouragement enough, we are certain that these worthy causes must be.

So, what can you expect from your night on the stunning Greek isle of Santorini? Dancing and drinks – staples of any ball – will obviously be present. The night will also feature a charity auction, with Richard highlighting a three-hour boat cruise on Sydney Harbour as his top pick. Costas Kilias of The Wog Boy fame will act as master of ceremonies for the evening and ARIA nominated songwriter Ricki-Lee will perform for attendees.

But what do we think will be the biggest novelty of the night? The plate smashing arena! If nothing else, it will give you an opportunity to take out your anger at not having spent your winter on the French Rivera on ceramics, rather than your friends! To top it all off, there will be Greek dancing and an ouzo bar.

Invest in a stunning night for charity and book now at lutoncharityball.com.au.

the essentials

What: The Luton Charity Ball 2017: Homes for Hope
Where: National Convention Centre
When: Saturday, 19 August 2017
Tickets: lutoncharityball.com.au

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Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris is currently studying Law and Arts at the ANU. She majors in Art History and has a minor in French. She has a hunger for fashion and food, and is a lover of the fabulous Canberra arts scene and many farmers’ markets. She has a deep interest in the intersection between the arts and law, and hopes to undergo further study in this area. Alternatively, she dreams of writing an art history thesis on the subject of memes. She can commonly be found enjoying a delicious cappuccino at any one of Canberra’s staple cafes, but particularly Tilley’s which she has frequented since she was four years old. When she grows up/old she wants to be just like Iris Apfel. More about the Author

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