The high-tea charity event is back for its second year, again raising funds for Paediatrics at Canberra Hospital (PaTCH), and this time The Abbey, in Gold Creek, will be transformed into an enchanted garden, adorned with vines and flowers, with a green carpet to welcome guests and green house lights to add to the garden vibe.
Kartika’s 10-year-old son Sebastian, the inspiration for Sweet ChariTea, is going well, she says, although his condition is accelerating faster than anticipated.Sebastian has a rare spinal-cord tumour that was diagnosed when he was three.
“Things have started happening at 10 that we were expecting at 12,” she says.
“It’s an unknown for everyone, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Next year will see the start of 12-weekly monitoring and regular MRIs at Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, for Sebastian, says Kartika.
“We’re always honest with him, and he knows exactly what’s going on,” she says.
“He’s making the most of being normal, and we take all opportunities by the throat when we can because we don’t know how long he will be able to enjoy life in the physical sense. He’ll most likely be confined to a wheelchair by his late teens.
“We’re designing a special table for Ronald Mcdonald House guests, and another called Little Heroes to honour kids who have been through tough times with serious illness.
“We don’t know yet where PaTCH will choose to use the funds this year, but we know they will go where they are most needed.”
Last year, Sweet ChariTea raised $13,614, which was given directly to the play therapist at Canberra Hospital, says Kartika, owner of Swish Vintage.
“For us, play therapists are the hidden treasures of the hospital. They help kids learn how to live their lives, no matter the outcome,” she says.
“It’s so important to gain a child’s trust for any treatment to work. It could be re-learning to walk or striking up a relationship with them before surgery so that afterwards, when the hard yards come, the connection is there and the child has the trust already.
“I was so happy the money went to them last year. It was the perfect place.”
While last year’s Sweet ChariTea was boisterous, cheeky rockabilly fun, this year’s will be softer and more refined, with comedic undertones, Kartika says.“We’re having performances from the Classical Ballet Centre and the Open School of Music’s jazz and classical bands, but also the naughty duo Sparrow Folk, and ladies’ barbershop quartet Tonal Obsession,” she says.
“We’ve got fashion shows from Gwynnie’s Emporium and Rockstars and Royalty, and our MC is Captain Spitfire from the Sass and Tease Collective.”
Kartika says the table designs will be amazing, with themes including Enchanted Garden, For the Birds, Midnight in Paris, Magical Pony Garden, The Good Housewife and Naughty But Nice.
Auction donations include a $2000 design-your-own jewellery voucher from Diamond Boutique, photography and tea party vouchers, beauty and gourmet food hampers, handmade jewellery and antique treasures. And, of course, there will be cakes, treats, tea and a candy bar.
“We’ve had so much support again from local businesses, it’s fantastic – and it’s a wonderful showcase for what they can do as well,” she says. “With everyone, including the behind-the-scenes stuff, there are about 60 businesses involved. We ask a little from a lot of people, which is why it works.”
Sweet ChariTea, Sunday, August 24, 1pm-5pm, at The Abbey, Gold Creek Village. Tickets at $93 are available through eventopia.co