Fundraiser in focus - Jennifer Egerton-Warburton

I raised $7,000 for MSWA by holding a long table luncheon in our shearing shed in Kojonup. I organised five star dining apparel and brought in an amazing chef to serve beautiful farm fresh food, including catching 1,000 yabbies from our dam, and supplying local lamb. What a wonderful unique experience it was for country people.”

Jennifer Egerton-Warburton was diagnosed with MS in 1998. Her condition is well-managed and she requires low support from MSWA, but in 2018 decided to raise money to support MSWA’s vital research and direct care of others living with neurological conditions in Western Australia.

Inspired by a long table luncheon she’d been to in Broomehill a few years earlier, Jen set about transforming the paddock of everlastings on her Kojonup farm into a fabulous alfresco luncheon venue, with the event due to take place during wildflower season.

She advertised in state and local papers and sold tickets through the website she uses for her seed business, Lucinda’s Everlastings. To Jen’s delight, tickets sold out months in advance.

“People were pleading for more,” recalls Jen. “ We ended up with about 130 people attending. The waitresses couldn’t sit down all day."

A big part of Jen’s vision for the event was to offer a different style of food to the norm, with the star of the show being the Uruguayan-style premium local lamb. To achieve this style of cooking, Jen’s husband, Rob, cut an old water tank in half, put hinges on it and altered the internals to create a giant barbecue, with a lever for temperature control and a chimney for smoking the meat. He even put it on a trailer for transport.

“We nicknamed it ‘The Beast’ and Rob welded that onto the side of it,” laughs Jen.

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Chef, Sophie Budd – whose CV includes working with Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein – was so impressed she wanted to buy it.

Also on the menu was camp-oven-baked focaccia with local olive oil, spring salad with yabbies from Jen and Rob’s farm, and apple puff pastry tarts.

However, the day before the event, there was an unexpected change of plan.

Jen had been preparing to host the luncheon in the paddock, amongst the everlastings. When the forecast predicted rain, she had to dramatically transform the farm’s shearing shed, in just 12 hours.

The last-minute scramble was worth the effort and the indoor luncheon was a great success. Attendees came from all over state, wanting to experience the unique event and raise money for the cause.

“About 40 percent were from Kojonup. And what was wonderful was that people travelled from Albany, Busselton, Bunbury and Perth.

“So many local people contributed. I didn’t have to hire a bus or pay for use of the Shire kitchen. People donated food, olive oil, cooking utensils, bottles of perfume for goodie bags, prizes for the raffle.

“As soon as you say ‘for charity’, people are so willing to give stuff. It was lovely.”

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That generosity was the reason Jen kept her costs low and was able to raise $7,000 for MSWA.

“I’m really happy with the final figure. It was a lot of work, but I enjoy organising things. The most laborious part about it was catching 1,000 yabbies in our dam. And peeling them!

Jen admits she is keen to hold another event in future.

“It was such a lovely thing to do in a small country town. If I can offer it more, that’s great. Maybe not this year!

On behalf of all our Clients, MSWA would like to thank Jen, her family and all the people who made the long table luncheon a great success. Browse our Hold an event page if you're planning your own unique fundraising activity.