Mums on Mission

The Middle East Times, Australia – page 30

Who is it we all turn to when we need that special kind of help? How often do we hear or say things like “mum’s the word”, “can’t get by without my mum” and “if you want something done, ask your mum”? Well, a group of mums from Arabic background in Oatlands – Sydney’s west have combined t roll all of these qualities into one to form Mums on a Mission, a unique fundraising unit.

Form in 1997, the group of eight women: Susan Behan, Sabah Esber, Denise Saad, Lamia Wehbe, Ferial Youakim, Janine Malouf, Sandra Esber and Eileen Behan met when their children started school together about 12 years ago. The women are all proud of their Arabic backgrounds and connections either by ethnicity or marriage.

Mums on a Mission raise money for different charities starting with their first “mission” in 1997 when they held their first Melbourne Cup Luncheon to raise money for sick children. Most recently, a cocktail party was held to assist a woman who needed a van and lifter to transport her 18 year old daughter who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The group raised $14,000.

To date Mums on a Mission has raised in excess of $200,000 distributed to The New Children’s Hospital at Westmead, the NSW Cancer Council, SIDS NSW and an underprivileged community that is supported they their local priest.

Not only do these eight “super” mums dedicate their time to such a worthy and fulfilling cause which sees them meet at least once a week to work on their latest project but most of the women also work part-time.

“We’ve all been blessed with healthy families so we are very lucky”, group organise Ferial Youakim, 36, said. “All we do is help people who are not as lucky as us. The special feeling that you get when you help people is just amazing, it is all the reward we need.”

The group praised the efforts of their volunteers, the support of their families, friends, local communities and their continuing sponsors, namely Microsoft, Citrix System, Nader Jewellers and Alexander Jewellers in making their fundraising efforts so successful – and it must be said professional. Mums on a Mission welcome any assistance in their “mission” and can be contacted at Mums on a Mission PO Box 298 Oatlands, NSW 2117.

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Mums on a Mission Annual Ball

The Bandaged Bear, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Newsletter April 2002, www.chw.edu.au – page12

Mums on a Mission Annual BallThe Mums on a Mission are back! Last year the fundraising group “Mums on a Mission” raised over $80,000 for the Hospital $20,000 for the other charities and won a Volunteer of the Year Award for their efforts. We are truly grateful to all of the eight mums who make up “Mums on a Mission” and their supporters, for the wonderful work they do for our Hospital.

Once again Mums on a Mission are raising funds for the hospital through their Annual Ball which is being held on Friday 17th May at Le Montage Function Centre, Leichhardt. If you would like to help the mums complete their mission to raise over $100,000 at this year’s ball, all you need to do is call them.

Tickets are $120 per head. This includes all food, drinks and entry into the lucky door draw for a two and a half carat diamond ring. Please call Mums on a Mission to join in the fun.

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Mums On A Mission Raise $190,000

The Daily Telegraph, Saturday June 16th, 2001, www.news.com.au – Page 3

By Letitia Rowlands

Mums on a Mission Raises $190,000When there’s a job that needs doing, mum’s the word.

Eight mothers from Oatlands have so far raised more than $190,000 for charities and neighbours in need of help.

Their latest project was organising a cocktail party which raised more than $14,000 for a woman who needed a van and lifter to transport her daughter, who has cerebral palsy.

The women known as Mums on a Mission say they get from their work a “special feeling inside” which comes with helping others.

“We’ve all been blessed with healthy families so we are very lucky,” group organise Ferial Youakim, 36, said.

“All we do is help people who are not as lucky as us.

“The special feeling that you get when you help people is just amazing, it is all the reward we need.”

The women have known each other since their children started school together about 12 years ago.

They began raising money to help others in 1997.

Most of the women work part-time but get together each week to work on their latest project.

“We just thought we should do something to help others so we organised a Melbourne Cup luncheon to raise money for sick children,” Mrs Youakim said.

“We actually didn’t raise as much as we wanted to the first time but it snowballed from there.”

The group’s efforts include raising tens of thousands of dollars for the Cancer Council and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

They are approached by people who need help raising funds for worthy project.

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Meet Mums On A Mission

Parramatta Sun, Wednesday June 6th, 2001 – page 7

They’re eight women from Oatlands who are changing their community using a simple formula: a few organisational skills and a lot of compassion.

The group began in November 1997, when Ferial Youakim invited her friends around for a Melbourne Cup lunch.

Group member Eileen Behan said it was a spur-of-the-moment decision that simply snowballed.

“Ferial slapped her hand on the table and said,’we’re having a Melbourne Cup lunch and we’re going to raise funds for the Children’sn Hospital’,” Mrs Behan said.

“And it just grew from there. We wanted to give a bit back to the community.”

The group has just finished raising $14,000 for a local woman who needed a van and a lifter to transport her daughter, who has cerebral palsy.

Other fundraisers have included a Valentine’s Day ball that raised $12,800, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, that raised more than $4,000 and a Daffodil Day charity ball in Leichhardt that raised $70,000 for the Cancer Council. They’ve raised more than $190,000 since they started out.

“We enjoy doing things together because we are very lucky,” Mrs Behan said.

“Each mum really has something unique to offer and it is truly an amazing thing to watch them in action at a meeting.”

But Mrs Behan said alot of the credit was due to supporters and local business Citrix Software Systems. “It’s the people who come to these functions that make the difference.”

Clare Bruce

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Mums on Mission – The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

The Bandaged Bear, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead – Newsletter, April 2001 www.chw.edu.au – page 7

The Mission – To have fun and fundraise

To most people, Valentine’s Day means chocolate, red roses and candlelight. To a group of eight mums who call themselves Mums on a Mission, it also means the chance to help sick kids receive the best possible treatment.

This Valentine’s Day, Mums on a Mission held a romantic Ball at le Montage Function Centre in Leichhardt to raise money for the Diabetes Services at the Hospital. Childhood diabetes is a serious disorder requiring several daily injections and has a huge impact on the lives of children and their families.

The Mums on a Mission – Ferial Youakim, Susan Behan, Sabah Esber and Eileen Behan, together with the support of their spouses and the five hundred guests who attended the Ball – raised over $70,000.

Since commencing their fundrising efforts in 1997, Mums on a Mission have raised almost $200,000 for charity, over $100,000 of which has been given to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. We would like to thank these special Mums for their support and congratulate them on the huge success that they are having with their mission.

We would also like to thank the sponsors of Mums on a Mission – Citrix Systems Australia and their business partners; Sydney radio station MIX 106.5 and Cerrone Jewellers

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Mums on a Mission

New Idea, Australia – pages 10 & 11

Mums on a Mission … A group of eight big-hearted Sydney mums, with a total of 24 healthy children, have become entrepreneurs in an effort to help those less fortunate.

With full-time jobs and 24 children between them, Eileen Behan and her seven close girlfriends know only too well that it’s like to try and juggle their careers with the everyday demands of motherhood.

But instead of putting their feet up and relaxing in their spare time, the eight Sydney mums have banded together to form Mums on a Mission, an organisation aimed at raising money for The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, as well as for various other causes throughout Sydney.

“We all have healthy children an we know that’s not the case for everyone,” says 39-year-old Eileen who, along with her friends, launched the charity in 1997. ‘Because we all feel so lucky and grateful for that, we wanted to give something back.

‘We were sitting around having a cup of coffee and trying to decide what to do for the Melbourne Cup with all of a sudden, one of us, Ferial Youakim, slapped her hand down on the table and said: “Let’s organise something to raise some money for The Children’s Hospital,” and it just took off from there,’ Eileen adds.

‘Our kids all started school together and we’ve been friends for years. The mums are all different in many ways yet we have so much in common.

‘We all live close to one another and have different talents and skills so we decided to combine those skills o organise functions to raise money for charity and give something back to the community we live in.’

Every one of the mothers on the committee is vital to the important work being carried out by Mums on a Mission. And, laughs Eileen, given their demanding lifestyles, so are their husbands.

‘We’re always getting phone calls late at night and often have to head out at all house when we’re organising one of our fundraiser,’ the dedicated mother says.

But if anything, Mums on a Mission has brought the families involved close together, rather than creating problems between them. ‘If the men and our children weren’t behind us 100 per cent, we couldn’t do it,’ Eileen explains.

‘Institutions like The Children’s Hospital at Westmead serve a massive community. It’s important that they get every bit of help hey can because every cent is vital.

‘There are people out there with very sick children, who spend their lives travelling back and forward to the hospital and if we can raise funds to provide a vital piece of equipment, or something else to make those families’ lives a little easier, that’s the least we can do.’

Eileen maintains the main motivation for the close-knit group’s inspiration is their combined brood of 24 healthy, happy kids, who range in age from four to 16. But she says they have not completely escaped the cruel twists of nature’s lottery.

In 1995, the friends themselves rushed to the accident and emergency department of the Children’s Hospital on a heartbreaking personal visit.

‘My sister-in-law Susan Behan, who is also one of the Mums on a Mission, lost her baby son Thomas, who was a twin, to SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome].

‘Losing Thomas was a tragedy,’ says Eileen quietly. ‘But instead of it stopping us, it gave us even more of a reason to do what we’re doing.’

The Children’s Hospital will once again benefit from the efforts of a Mums on a Mission when they hold their Valentine’s Day ball at Le Montage in Sydney’s Leichhardt. And the Mums are hoping to raise at least $75,000.

‘It’s pretty hectic at the moment and we’re all pretty exhausted,’ says Eileen. ‘But when we hand over the cheque, knowing it will buy a vital piece of equipment or help someone in some way, I will have all been worth it.’

Not surprisingly, ask the mums what they do when they’re not fundraising, working or caring for their own kids and they answer in unison: ‘We sleep!’

By Julie Hayne – Pictures: David Anderson

The Valentine’s Day Ball will be held on Wednesday February 14 at Le Montage, 38 Frazer Street, Leichhardt, NSW. The tickets are $100 a head and include a four-course buffet, champagne, beer, wine and soft drink.

Above: Mums on a Mission with 23 of the 24 children. From Left: 1. Sandra Esber 2. Sabah Esber 3. Janine Malouf 4. Eileen Behan 5. Ferial Youakim 6. Lamia Wehbe 7. Susan Behan (not pictured: Denise Saad.)

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Mums on a mission … Fighting for a cure

Mums on a mission … Fighting for a cure … Eileen Behan, Sandra Esber, Denise Saad, Ferial Youakim, Susan Behan and Janine Malouf … circa 1999

A group of Oatlands women whose lives have been touched by cancer are organsing a ball to raise funds for research into the disease.

Mums On A Mission is a group of eight women who enjoy helping others.

Members have raised funds through Melbourne Cup lunches, morning teas and an aerobics-a-thon.

It’s next fundraising idea is a Daffodil Charity Ball to be held at Leichhardt on Friday September 17.

The daffodil name was chosen as it’s the international symbol of hope for people who have been touched with cancer.

Among the dedicated fundraisers are sisters-in-law Susan and Eileen Behan who lost their mother-in-law Laurise Behan to pancreatic cancer in March this year.

“Cancer is such an insidious disease and if everyone in the community helped to raise money for the funds needed to go toward science then somehow there might be a cure to cancer,” Mrs Behan said.

The mums formed the group as they discovered many people have been affected by cancer in some way.

The ball will be held at Le Montage, 38 Frazer street, from 6:30pm.

The dress code is black tie. Tickets cost $100 each. For more details phone the NSW Cancer Council.

The group hopes at least 800 people will attend.

Mums On A Mission has been raising money for charities for two years.

It’s next event will be a Melbourne Cup fundraiser.

By work experience student Jessica Abou-Jaoude.

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The Mission – To Have Fun and Fundraise

The Bandaged Bear, The New Children’s Hospital Newsletter – April 1999 – page 4

Over the past 18 months, eight amazing mums have spent their spare time raising $26,000.

A combination of motivation, enthusiasm, dedication and hard work can lead to the most wonderful outcome. Ferial Youakim and her friends Susan Behan, Sabah Esber and Eileen Behan are a fantastic example of how much fun raising money can be.

Two years ago this group of mums who call themselves “Mums on a Mission” decided that they wanted to raise money for The Children’s Hospital. They held a Melbourne Cup Day Luncheon for all of their friends and raised $3000.

Twelve months later they decided that their mission was incomplete and they held another Melbourne Cup Luncheon in 1998 and more than tripled the amount raised in 1997.

On the 14th February this year 1999, “Mums on a Mission” held a Valentine’s Ball at Oatlands House in Oatlands. Over 240 guests attended the exceptionally elegant ball and raised $13,000 for the Neurology Department.

The mission for these passionate and dedicated mums continues with an Aerobathon being held at AUS BODZ Fitness Club in Parramatt on 15th May, 1999. Another Melbourne Cup Luncheon is being planned for November 1999 and a shopping trip is on the cards for the near future.

The New Children’s Hospital would like to thank these special mums for their support and congratulate them on their success.

We would also like to that the sponsors of “Mums on a Mission”:

  • Citrix System Australia and their business partners
  • Spring Flowers, North Rocks
  • Disk Jockey
  • Arthur Saba Entertainer
  • Simon Kanaan
  • Bill Younis Food Delicacies
  • Nati Bros of Dural
  • CHA for the donation of a lap top and computer
  • Microsoft for the software
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