Three years ago this June two local families were shattered. Two women lost their lives to domestic violence. Both were mothers and both were adored by their families & friends. The 2014 Butterfly Ball & Charity Auction in Oakey, organised by Oakey resident Emma Ziebell, is aiming to prevent and ultimately eliminate domestic violence in the local community by raising funds for local violence prevention services and relationship education programs.
Emma made the decision to create this event after the murder of her aunt Noelene Beutel, and the death of Delarece McKellar, who died in June 2011. Noeleneâ€™s murderer was found guilty just after the 2013 Butterfly Ball, and is now serving a life sentence. Delareceâ€™s case is still in front of the courts today.
The ball is named Butterfly Ball because it signifies beauty, new beginnings and freedom. It is also in honour of Noeleneâ€™s love of butterflies.
This year, there is a competition for the â€œbest butterfly maskâ€, which is being judged by Mrs Judy Antonio. â€œIt is amazing to have the continued support of our Mayor, Cr Paul Antonio, his wife Mrs Judy Antonio and Senator Claire Moore who is also the keynote speaker for the Butterfly Ball this year,â€ Emma said.
Funds raised this year will go to Toowoomba Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Service and the NAPCAN â€œLove Bitesâ€ program, a positive relationships education program that is run in high schools throughout the Darling Downs, including Oakey State High School. â€œWe also want to promote the amazing work ofÂ White Ribbon and the QLD Homicide Victims Support Group, who have been a constant support for our family throughout the last three years.â€ Emma said.
Since its humble beginnings in 2012, the Butterfly Ball has raised over $20,000 for the elimination and prevention of domestic violence.