Violetta Goes Down Under: Australia 2015
Organized by: Isabelle Rohr
EVENT DATE Jun 01, 2015
I've decided that if Violetta and I hit our fundraising goal, I'll give 10% of the total raised to No Kid Hungry. This past Spring, I raised $1000 for No Kid Hungry in under 1 month during #ChefsCycle4NKH. So I have no doubt we can CRUSH this new goal by June 1, 2015. Let's do this!!
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What do you get when you send an intrepid, endlessly curious and endlessly entertaining 6-year-old on a trip halfway around the world, armed with her own personal Vine account? Magic. That is what you get. Pure, hilarious, uninhibited, extra magical magic. This is the story of how one woman (me) and all of YOU are going to help make that happen.
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The summer of my 13th birthday, I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia to meet my family. ...Next summer will mark the 15th anniversary of that trip.
Australia is a huge part of our family's cultural identity, both here in the States and abroad. My grandmother, Violet, was Australian--I never got to meet her. Dozens upon dozens of our relatives live in and around Sydney, from great-uncles to second cousins, many of whom are aging.
I refuse to miss the opportunity to see the older generations, particularly my great uncles (Violetta's great-great uncles!) at least one more time in my lifetime. They are the closest I will ever get to meeting my grandmother; and Violetta, her great grandmother.
We are an extremely large, close family separated by an even greater ocean. This giant body of water prevents us from seeing each other more than about once every 10-20 years. Crossing that ocean is very, very, very expensive.
The minimum contribution to a fundraiser via crowdrise.com is $10. In other words, for less than the cost of a 6-pack of gluten-free beer, you can send our beloved V to meet her Aussie family she may never get another chance to meet otherwise. 10 bucks, y'all. And again: 1 out of every 10 of those bucks is going to #NoKidHungry!
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Recent events that spurred this fundraiser:
This past week, on Sept. 27, 2014, my sister Nicole got married in Chicago. She invited our Australian family to the wedding and six relatives were able to come. It was emotional seeing them again after all that time, and the thought of not knowing when we will be together again is truly that much harder. But I made a promise to them, and no matter what, somehow, I intend to keep it: Within 1 year I will return to Australia after 15 years away--this time, with Violetta.
The relatives that attended my sister's wedding were completely enamored with Violetta. To them, she represents my grandmother Violet, for whom Violetta is named. So this trip is as much for her as it is for all those in Australia. It is Violetta's chance to take the trip of lifetime, to connect with her ancestral home, and to meet family that may or may not be around when she, herself, turns 13.
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So officially today Violetta got her own Vine account (link below). She and I will start uploading at least once weekly practice videos with the hashtag #ViolettaGoesDownUnder. Then, if we meet or exceed our trip fundraising goal and get to go, Violetta will upload one 6-second video per day from her point of view documenting her Aussie journey! #ViolettaGoesDownUnder updates will also be posted via my personal Instagram & Twitter accounts.
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Between now and June 2015, I have comitted to saving $3000 myself for travel expenses during our stay. Thanks to our lovely family, lodging costs are not a factor, but if you have ever traveled with children--or have children period--you are well aware of how spontaneously expensive it can be. I estimated $1500 in travel expenses and was encouraged by many much wiser than me to double that estimate.
And for the record, Violetta has been saving quarters in a jar (actually an old toothbrush holder) for the past year and has raised $100 dollars specifically to be used toward a trip to Australia!
Here's the part I'm fundraising for:
1 adult economy fare: $2,000 USD
(best price available on Quantas airlines Birmingham, AL --> Sydney, AU)
1 child economy fare: $1700 - $2000 USD
(child fares are often discounted approx. $300 USD on Quantas international flights, but these special fares are not guaranteed)
Misc transportation expenses to/from Sydney: $500 USD
(meals, taxis, luggage fees, emergency, etc)
TOTAL: $4500 USD
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So friends, I leave you with two simple requests:
1. That you start thinking of what you would like Violetta to do/see/create on her epic adventure next summer.
- Do you NEED a vine of Violetta feeding a kangaroo in your life? (Yes, I have one of me from the year 2000 and since you were wondering, I most certainly AM wearing A&F parachute pants.)
- Would you like nothing more than a selfie of Violetta sliding down the walls of the Sydney Opera House? (Yes, there exists one of Nicole and I doing just that, in all of our exquisite preteen awkwardness.)
- Is it your goal in life to see Violetta master the art of the koala photobomb?
- Would a Vine of Violetta trying Vegemite for the first time pretty much make your life?
- Do you want us to bring back anything special or weird from our trip?
- Violetta loves a good scavenger hunt...get creative!
2. And finally, that you please share this fundraiser any and every way you know how.
Let's make June 1, 2015 the day Violetta Goes Down Under!