Cram Foundation’s Karen Burdett was awarded the trophy at an Ables Nightclub Sing Off on Friday but it was clear that everyone at The Harp was a winner.
The disability service sector came out in force to further support the people they work with in the region. And the result was a celebration of inclusion like no other.
“The Ables Nightclub concept is such a wonderful inclusive event that brings people of all abilities throughout the community together,” Ms Burdett said.
“The Cram Foundation loved being part of the Ables Sing Off and our clients and staff all had an amazing night enjoying the music and cheering everyone on. The team are already asking when the next Sing Off is and planning song choice and costumes.”
As soon as he saw the response and vibe in the room Flagstaff Group chief executive Roy Rogers was quick to suggest it needs to become an annual event. Maybe with an Abba theme in 2019.
“Our guys are still talking about the night. They thought it was a hoot. It was a great night, my ears are still ringing and I should stick to my day job. The night really showcased the collaborative goodwill between disability service providers. When it comes to looking after people with disabilities in our region we all work together to make sure people with disabilities get the best they deserve.”
Ables Nightclub’s Beau Thatcher and Sean O'Neill, who did a version of ACDC’s Thunderstruck, said the Sing Off could not have been more successful.
“Having 10 different CEO’s and either their teams or staff sing on the night was wonderful. Ables is all about inclusion and breaking down old habits and traditions of how the community view people with disabilities going out and socialising,” Mr Thatcher said.
“The nights we host are not just specifically for people with disabilities but for everyone to come together and enjoy one another’s company and have a good night. Friday was the perfect example of this, with CEO’s, their friends and families, people with and without disabilities all coming together for the same reason, to have a great night. This will now become a yearly event that will hopefully only grow and help show more people the benefits that Ables has in the community”.
Greenacres CEO Chris Christodoulou was the one who threw out the challenge during the 10th anniversary Ables Nightclub celebration in August. He was blown away by the response.
“The Ables Sing Off was just fantastic. It allowed all the CEO’s who participated to mix it with some of the best karaoke participants in town. It reminded me of my youth when there was only standing room in The House. The place was a buzz, the audience participation was sensational. And from the reaction of all of the Greenacres family there the night was a big hit. I must emphasise not because of my great singing voice but because it was so much fun. Bring it on next year. I want to take that trophy off Karen Burdett from Cram”.
The Disability Trust’s Margaret Bowen said a great addition might be for representatives from all the organisations present to sing one song together to show the unity in the sector and the great work they do as a combined force in our region.
Other teams to perform on the night included Northcott, Interchange Illawarra, Community Gateway, HR With Ease and Serendipity Support Services.