Thursday, 4 April 2013

Parched March 2013: the grand finale!

Our fourth Parched March wraps with a mega-party at ivy and celebrates $40,000 raised

Every great show needs a grand finale, and last night Parched March 2013 rocked, sang, drank, toasted, danced and dazzled its way to the finish.

We were celebrating an amazing $40,000 raised for Animal Welfare League NSW - that's double last year's total. But we were also toasting 31 days of non-stop good times. 

"We had 75 bars, 11 events, 63 different kinds of cocktail, endless dogs, six hot blokes sold to the highest bidder," said elated Parched March director Amy Cooper in her speech to a crowd of more than 300. "Not to mention four confirmed love affairs and several more rumoured ones. That's the Parched March magic."

rockin' it out... dancers at the ivy party Photo: Nikki To

After all that relentless partying, highlighted by the launch bash at TheLoft and Mr CBD at Ananas, you could have forgiven Parched March fans for a little party fatigue. But they turned out in their greatest numbers yet for the wrap, filling The Lawn on ivy's second floor.  

Celebrities flocked in: Entourage's Rex Lee; Parched March ambassador and TV vet Dr Katrina Warren and fellow ambassador Lynette Bolton (WAG Nation TV star and married to Sydney Swan Jude Bolton).

Then there was three-time ARIA-nominated band Amy Meredith, Hayley Jensen (Australian Idol contestant), Chef Michael Moore (from Parched March participating venue O Bar and Dining) and his wife Angela;TV presenter and model Annaliese Braackensiek, and dancer and TV personality Nacho Pop.

Dogs were celebrities too at this party, with guest appearances from Parched March ambassador Fashion Dog, Kaiser the mini-schnauzer - belonging to J&J O'Brien group co-director Judith Crawley and even ivy owner Justin Hemmes' German Shepherd, Thunder, who encouraged his owner to bid highest in the Parched March charity art auction for a one-off, dog-themed Mambo surfboard.

Lynette Bolton and Rex Lee Photo: Sam Ali
Nacho Pop, Sia Anthopoulos, Sandradee Makajev and Fashion Dog Photo: Sam Ali
Wade Osborn and Cameron Laing from Amy Meredith Photo: Sam Ali

Fashion Dog makes her entrance Photo: Nikki To
They all came to The Lawn to enjoy delicious cocktails whipped up with Midori, Cointreau, Russian Standard and Tia Maria by Mike Enright and his Merivale team, and to help the Parched March crew push their total funds raised across the month up to $40,000.

The money was desperately needed to rebuild the dog accommodation at an Animal Welfare League NSW shelter for homeless animals. The day's heavy rain and resulting floods had left the 100-plus canines in the organisation's care without shelter.

"How are we going to do it?" said Amy Cooper. "Sell some dogs, of course!" 

Simon Mercier, owner of Parched March participating bar Name This Bar, took the stage and unleashed a boisterous auction for the unique artworks specially created for Parched March: four dog statuettes, a surfboard and two canvasses painted by Nacho Pop and Wade Osborn. 

The auction quickly raised the $4,000 needed to hit the total. For blow-by-blow action see here.

Then it was time to party in earnest.

The unmistakable intro to Gangnam Style blasted out and a familiar sequin-jacketed figure leaped on stage. Was it him or wasn't it? We're not saying. But here's a clue. He spells his name a bit funny.

Was it PSY....



Who cares? It rocked.

The Parched March team, Freya Pearson and Daniel Butchart (events managers), Sia Anthopoulos (social media) and Carmarlena Murdaca (Mr CBD manager) took the stage to join Amy Cooper and Katrina Warren in a toast to good times.

"At Parched March, we celebrate fun in times when fun is sometimes out of fashion," Amy told the crowd. "But if we ever find ourselves forgetting  how to have fun, we need only look at our animal friends to remember how it's done. That's why we do all this for animal welfare.

"There have been far too many amazing moments this March for me to list, but I can safely say that for every single one of them, I've had a great cocktail in my hand.

"Our heartfelt thanks to the 75 generous Sydney bars who joined us this year to use the power of cocktails for good."

Then she and Dr Katrina toasted the crowd with a Midori and Cointreau cocktail from Parched March partner, Suntory ... and the good times rolled.

To Parched March, good times and big hearts! Photo: Sam Ali

Judith Crawley, co-director of J&J O'Brien group, and Kaiser Photo: Nikki To

Angela and Michael Moore Photo Nikki To

Katrina Warren and friend Photo: Nikki To
SYP, Freya Pearson and Mike Enright Photo: Sam Ali

Annaliese Braackensiek and posse Photo: Sam Ali

Parched March Mr CBD Angelo Bouras Photo: Sam Ali

Jonathan Ellerman and admirers Photo: Sam Ali

Ivy owner Justin Hemmes with his German Shepherd, bidding in the art auction  Photo: Sam Ali

Dancer and performer Pia Anderson selects the Afternoon Highball

Justine Millsom and friend Photo: Sam Ali
Jessica Borg and Angelo Bouras, Parched March Mr CBD 2013 Photo: Sam Ali
Delicious: The Afternoon Highball, featuring Midori and Cointreau, and the Crofts Original featuring Cointreau and Russian Standard Vodka. Photo: Nikki To

Dogs were centre stage Photo Sam Ali

Rex Lee, Entourage and Suburgatory TV actor Photo: Nikki To
Tanya Dobble, the artist behind the Parched March PUP-UP Photo: Nikki To

Name This Bar's Simon Mercier whips up an auction frenzy with MR CBD Angelo Bouras Photo: Nikki To

Mr CBD finalist John Owens with the winning bidder of Bodhi, the Jamie Durie-designed PUP-UP dog statuette Photo: Nikki To

Ladies' Choice: Tia Maria, Russian Standard, Creme de Cacao, Espresso and vanilla cream float Photo: Nikki To

The PUP-UP Auction Action!

Here's what went down when we auctioned our PUP-UP artworks at the Parched March grand wrap party at ivy!

Auctioneer Simon Mercier, owner of Name This Bar, a Parched March participating bar, asks Nacho Pop to sell his elephant....

And here it is. Serious animal art.

The girls begin a bidding frenzy ...

In the wings, excitement is uncontrollable as the bidding steadily intensifies.

But Lynette Bolton beats them all off for $450 to take home the pachiderm.

Next up is Amy Meredith bassist Wade Osborn's Doggy Style. Wade recently discovered his talent for drawing at the Name This Bar Parched March Art for The Animals Art Battle. This boy's not just about music.

Two students combine their savings to find $250, which wins Doggy Style. Wade has sold his first piece of art.

Behold Neil (above). A Mambo Farting Dog with one very obvious difference. Or two differences. Three, if you want to be even more specific. Cae Thomas, one of our dashing Mr CBD finalists, is keeping Neil at a careful distance as this randy little fella was last seen getting up close and personal with someone's leg. Designed by talented Mambo artist Lee McConnell, Neil sells for $650 to the big-hearted Mikey, manager of Hugos Bar Pizza in Kings Cross, and although we always recommend desexing your dog, Neil is an exception. Mikey has vowed to let him keep his crown jewels.

Next dog on the rank is Snoop Doggy Rod, another Mambo pup, brought onstage by Mr CBD finalist John Owens. Rod finds his new home rapidly, for a cool $500.

Modogliani the elegant greyhound, by greyhound loving artist Tanya Dobble - who created the bodies for all the dogs in our PUP-UP - sells next, to an AWL NSW volunteer who fell in love with him while moving him from bar to bar. He's brought to the stage by Parched March Mr CBD, Angelo Bouras.

Beautiful Bodhi (above), designed by celebrity gardening guru and environmentalist Jamie Durie, is snapped up for $650.

Three hot boys, four sold dogs!

Even celebrity auctioneer and art dealer Justin Miller's having a bid as the auction action hots up. (Justin sold all six Mr CBDs for a combined total of $8000 at our Parched March Mr CBD bash at Ananas.)

Next, Angelo, Cae and John bring on the Mambo surfboard, 'Vincent Van Hump,' which was painted live at our launch party by Mambo artist Ben Brown.

But wait - who's this? It's ivy owner Justin Hemmes, complete with his German Shepherd, Thunder. He's bidding for Vincent Van Hump. And he wins the board for $1,500. Nice work, Justin!