The 3rd of April found us at the Victory Memorial Gardens waiting for various politicians on bikes to arrive for the first stopover for the annual Pollie Pedal event. This event is a major fundraising and awareness event for Soldier On, a charity which supports men and women who have been physically or psychologically affected after serving in Australia’s defence forces. The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, former Australian Prime Minister, led the group of cyclists through town and into the Gardens then gave a brief speech on the work of Soldier On and what they will be achieving over that next week. We were lucky enough to get an audience with Mr Abbott and even take a selfie!
Sarah attended the Sunrise Rotary Breakfast on 11 April as a thank you for participating in their annual op shop spectacular (refer to March’s blog for details). We congratulate the Rotary Club of Wagga Wagga for another successful event.
The 11th was busy for Sarah as she was also the guest speaker at the OASIS club for ex-Apexians. Sarah spoke about her quest adventures and her job as a journalist then had a question and answer session following that. A big thank you to the OASIS club for donating $200 to Sarah’s Thomas Bros. Wagga Wagga Takes Two fundraising effort.
Then arrived the event that we had both been working hard for six months on. Thomas Bros. Wagga Wagga Takes Two (WWT2). The lead up to this event was extraordinary. We had months of fundraising and rehearsals and the real deal was finally here. It was great to get to know our fellow contestants a little better through a night of ten pin bowling and rehearsals before the big opening night. After a dress rehearsal with a small audience on the Wednesday, we were set to go. Jes and Josh were third to take the stage, following a fantastic rendition of Crocodile Rock by Councillor Rod Kendall and his lovely partner Deidre. Jes confirmed many of her family and friends expectations and took on the music genre of Country. She sang a country medley which consisted of parts from ‘Fake ID’ and ‘Save a Horse’ by Big n Rich and ‘Country Girl’ by Luke Bryan. Sarah and Joel were up immediately afterwards and Sarah stayed true to her dancing roots and sang ‘Shut up and Dance’ by Walk the Moon, whilst performing a well-choreographed dance that included some impromptu drumming! After our performances were complete, we watched the other contestants take on everything from Pink to Dirty Dancing to Midnight Oil. We were amongst some truly amazing talent and from all counts; feedback has been extremely positive and has shown that this show really is a special event on Wagga Wagga’s calendar
This year WWT2 raised an overall total of $409,000! There are final counts taking place in the next few weeks so watch this space for a final figure!
We’d like to congratulate Sean O’Hara, who with his partner Rene Van Delft, took out the major trophy for fundraising. Sean raised an incredible $118,000 for Legacy his chosen charity. Sean performed an incredible rendition of ‘I was only 19’, which as writing this we are still getting Goosebumps about. Just amazing.
The WWT2 cast and crew really are a big family. We have both been welcomed with open arms and been given immense support throughout this journey. We already miss all our fellow contestants along with the hardworking crew that made our experience something we will never forget.
Lastly on WWT2, we’d like to thank and congratulate the absolutely incredible WWT2 Committee who have worked tirelessly to bring this event to Wagga and grant opportunities for both people and charities that they may never have had if it weren’t for the show. A big shout out especially goes to Narelle Potts, who as President of WWT2, has been a truly amazing support for both of us. We are so grateful and promise that we will now take your number off speed dial.
We had a day or two for recovery then recommenced our duties as titleholders. Firstly, we attended the ANZAC Day Memorial Service and March at the Victory Memorial Gardens. We laid a wreath and paid our respects to those incredible men and women who have served to protect our country. The rain was threatening but held off for the most part of the service and it was fantastic to see so many Wagga citizens come out for the service.
The next day we were up bright and early to visit the Quest’s newest sponsors, Southern Cross Austereo. We had a chat with Whitto & Ash of Hit93.1 firstly then Leighton from Triple M Riverina. We gave an update on what has been happening and also what is coming up in
the near future
...The near future being that night when the Launch of the 2018 Miss Wagga Wagga Quest Entrants took place. We both performed MC duties throughout the night as the new entrants were given their first opportunity to use their newly found skills for public speaking and speech writing along with dining etiquette and presentation. We were extremely impressed with the entrants and commend them on a fantastic first event. We wish Aley, Zoe, Maddie, Katharine and Sarah, good luck as they progress through the Quest and we are so excited to see the wonderful things that are to come for all of you. In just six short months we will be handing over our crowns to two of you! Our advice is to enjoy this experience as the quest really is a quest. A quest to form new friendships, a quest to develop your skills through team work, a quest to find an ambassador for our wonderful city and last but not least, a quest to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. We have no doubt that you will all come away with a newfound perspective – and you can trust us when we say all of this – we were in your shoes just a year ago!
So that was our April! The first half of our reign has been truly amazing and full of experiences and opportunities we never thought in our wildest dreams would happen. We are so incredibly excited to see what the next six months brings us.
- MWW & CP xx