Personal Travel Manager Organizes Ball Raising $115,000 for Charity


Alec Mckenzie, Executive GM Hunter Valley for Australian Rail Track Corporation; Merran Wiggin,
TravelManagers' personal travel manager and Chris Rehn, CEO Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind
Children celebrate the fundraising success of the ARTC Annual Charity Ball

TravelManagers’ personal travel manager, Merran Wiggins, representative for Warners Bay in New South Wales has reason to celebrate.  Not only has she organized the highly successful 2013 Australian Rail Track Corporations (ARTC) Annual Charity Ball, the fundraiser raised a record $115,445.36 for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.

“Having the ability to give back within my community is hugely important to me. With my TravelManagers business I have been able to offer sponsorship to small community and charity events however the ARTC Annual Charity Ball event is by far my biggest undertaking. Knowing that I can help raise funds for well deserving charities through my relationships, experience and expertise is incredibly rewarding,” says Wiggins.

Since 2011, ARTC has held an annual Charity Ball to help raise much-needed funds for local charities. Wiggin’s relationship with the ARTC has grown from assisting with the inaugural Annual Charity Ball in 2011 to being awarded the event manager contract for 2013. 

“In 2011 over $78,000 was raised for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. This inaugural initiative began with three members who managed to turn a small surplus of social club funds into one of the biggest social events of the year. Integral to the success of these events has been Merran Wiggins,” says Alec Mackenzie, Executive General Manager Hunter Valley, Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd.

The brief for the 2013 Charity Ball was to create, produce and most importantly deliver a ball to remember.

“It felt as if Hollywood came to Newcastle in 2013 to support the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, in what can only be described as an Oscar worthy event. Guests were welcomed with champagne on red carpet arrival, with the remainder of the evening stepping up in ‘wow factor’ from here on. The integration between the meal and the dancing; the speeches and the auction was flawless thanks to Merran’s exceptional ability in managing major events,” says Mackenzie.

The support received for the Charity Ball from sponsors has been overwhelming.

“We can’t thank the sponsors enough who provided many of the incredibly sought after auction items. The event certainly wouldn’t have been the success it was or allowed for the phenomenal total being achieved without the overwhelming support of Paspaley Pearls and Leighton Contractors, Downer Group, John Holland and Ansaldo STS to name a few,” says Wiggins.

Being a TravelManagers’ personal travel manager opens the doors to so many possibilities.

“I pride myself on providing more than just a travel service to my clients. Being a personal travel manager allows me the flexibility to not only manage my clients travel arrangements, yet have the ability to create amazing events from corporate functions to charity auctions to conferences, nothing is too much trouble. This is what I believe is adding value to my clients,” says Wiggins.


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