The BrainChild Ball

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The BrainChild Ball

The BrainChild Ball

Each year The BrainChild Ball takes guests to an exotic location for a night of glamour, discovery, taste and adventure all in the name of fundraising for research and raising awareness for children with brain cancer.

The primary purpose of The BrainChild Ball is to raise funds for the BrainChild Fellowship, a position currently held by Dr Raelene Endersby, co-head of the Brain Tumour Research Team at the Telethon Kids Institute.  Any funds raised in excess of this amount fund much needed research projects.

The BrainChild Ball was founded by Victoria Fitzgerald following the diagnosis and treatment of her daughter Abigail (our 2016 BrainChild).

We share the story of a child who has experienced brain cancer – our BrainChild. Their journeys highlight the struggle of life with childhood brain cancer and the devastating effects this disease has on both the child and their family, highlighting why it is so crucial we raise funds for research.

Our guests enjoy a mouth-watering three-course dinner, premium beverages and stand-out entertainment all themed around our chosen destination for that year.

There is something in the room for all our guests to bid on with our highly sought after live and silent auction items.

All 300 glasses of French champagne at our ever-popular Champagne Diamond Bar have a stone in them but only one lucky guest will take home a stunning diamond.

Not to be outdone by the Champagne Bar, our Sports Bar has a fabulous luxury men’s sports watch to be won by one of our lucky guests.

The BrainChild Ball continues to be a prominent annual event held in Perth with funds raised bringing us closer to realising the Foundation’s vision of happy, healthy children free of brain cancer.

Past BrainChild Balls

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2023 BrainChild Ball – New York, New York

A dream you dream alone is only a dream
A dream you dream together is reality
Yoko Ono

Our BrainChild Ball 2023 New York, New York proudly and boldly presented by www.wisewine.com.au raised a final total of $330,000 towards our vision of happy, healthy children free of brain cancer.

With just over 530 guests, we celebrated the City of Dreams in all its diverse and larger than life culture. We hope with our supporters, families and researchers working together, our vision will one day be a reality.

Funds raised from The BrainChild Ball this year will be used to help grow an exciting new collaboration, PrEclinical Translational Research Alliance for Paediatric Brain Cancer (PETRA).  The alliance forges leading research scientists and clinicians from 14 research institutions and hospitals across Australia. PETRA is united in the mission to identify better, less damaging treatments for the two brain cancers which are responsible for almost half of all childhood cancer deaths; medulloblastoma and diffuse midline glioma. 

Your support allows the Brain Tumour Research Team (BTRT) to perform a drug screen using state-of-the-art technologies to identify new drugs to pair with radiation and thereby grow the success of the team and the powerful alliance.  Ultimately this will help move exciting new treatments into the clinic faster and bring us one step closer to treatments that can save the lives of our children with brain cancer.

Across all the activities of The Pirate Ship Foundation – 90% of funds raised is made available to our cause, ensuring that Dr Raelene Endersby, co-head of the Brain Tumour Research Team at the Telethon Kids Institute remains as the BrainChild Fellow.

A huge thank you to Pia from www.pssmileproduction.com, Michael Shaw from www.michaelshawphoto.com for all the photos of the evening which have now been uploaded to The Pirate Ship Foundation Facebook page here, and to Base Imagery for capturing the video of the evening.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2024 to discover another exciting location!

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2022 BrainChild Ball – Jijivisha – Hope for Life

Our BrainChild Ball 2022 Jijivisha was a fabulous night and we’re very grateful to all who came along and supported in so many ways. 

With over 630 guests in attendance, we are thrilled to announce a final total of $415,000. This amount ensures that Dr Raelene Endersby, co-head of the Brain Tumour Research Program at the Telethon Kids Institute remains as the BrainChild Fellow.

The team research precision medicine for children with brain cancer, which uses knowledge of the unique genetics of each child’s cancer to match this with best treatment. Every cancer and every child is different. For some children, there are already medicines that have been discovered that “match” certain genetic changes that occur in their cancer. However, we have not identified or tested treatments that match all of the possible mutations that may occur in childhood brain cancer. 

Funding from the Brainchild Ball will be used to extensively characterise the genetics of patients diagnosed at Perth Children’s Hospital and Dr Endersby’s team will evaluate new compounds that they think may target those mutations in the lab. The ultimate goal is to ensure there are more clinical trial options available for more patients in Perth.

Across all the activities of The Pirate Ship Foundation – 90% of funds raised is made available to our cause, and ultimately towards achieving our vision of happy healthy children free of brain cancer.

A huge thank you to Anthea K Photography for all the photos of the evening which have now been uploaded to The Pirate Ship Foundation Facebook page here and to Base Imagery for capturing the video of the evening.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2023!

2021 BrainChild Ball – London Calling

Our BrainChild Ball London Calling was a fabulous night – and we’re very grateful to all who came along and supported in so many ways.  

With over 660 guests in attendance it was our largest Ball to date; and after all was said and done we are thrilled to be able to announce a final total of $590,000.  This amount ensures that Dr Raelene Endersby, co-head of the Brain Tumour Research Program at the Telethon Kids Institute remains as the BrainChild Fellow. 

Within this amount is $230,000 for “Fleur’s Fund” which will be used by the team for research into precision medicine for children with brain cancer. It uses knowledge of the unique genetics of each child’s cancer to match this with best treatment. Every cancer and every child is different. For some children, there are already medicines that have been discovered that “match” certain genetic changes that occur in their cancer. However, we have not identified or tested treatments that match all of the possible mutations that may occur in childhood brain cancer. Funding from the Brainchild Ball will be used to extensively characterise the genetics of patients diagnosed at Perth Children’s Hospital and Dr Endersby’s team will evaluate new compounds that they think may target those mutations in the lab. The ultimate goal is to ensure there are more clinical trial options available for more patients in Perth. 

Across all the activities of The Pirate Ship Foundation – 90% of funds raised is made available to our cause, and ultimately towards achieving our vision of happy healthy children free of brain cancer.

A huge thankyou to Daniel Grant Photographer for all the photos of the evening which have now been uploaded to The Pirate Ship Foundation facebook page here and also to Base Imagery for capturing our evening.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2022!

2020 BrainChild Ball – Carnaval | Friday 18th September

The Pirate Ship Foundation proudly presents our fifth BrainChild Ball  – Carnaval.  Adventure with us as we travel to Brazil on Friday 18th September 2020, in the Grand Ballroom at Crown Perth for our premier black tie event.

Brazil conjures up images of beaches, soccer, rainforest, barbeques, Rio de Janeiro and of course its famous Carnaval.  Think of Brazil and you can’t help but think of all that is colourful, vibrant, fun and beautiful.  And underpinning all the images of Brazil is passion.  They do nothing by halves, and neither will we.

Research into finding better treatments and ultimately a cure for childhood brain cancer takes commitment, drive and passion.  It also requires us to come together, to show that we too have the passion to stop at nothing to achieve our vision of happy healthy children free of brain cancer. 

The Foundation is proud to announce that over 90% of funds raised across all its activities in 2019 has gone directly to the cause.  We aim to achieve a very similar result in 2020.

In its four years the Ball has raised over $1,000,000.  This has funded the BrainChild Fellowship, held by Dr Raelene Endersby, Co-Head of the Brain Tumour Research Program (BTRP) at the Telethon Kids Institute.  Funds raised over and above those required for the BrainChild Fellowship are contributed towards the BTRP teams conducting childhood brain cancer research programs.  This has included research into some of the most lethal brain tumours in children and ground breaking research into immunotherapy.

2019 – La Dolce Vita
Proudly Presented by True North Adventure Cruises

The Pirate Ship Foundation’s 4th annual BrainChild Ball – La Dolce Vita – presented by True North Adventure Cruises, can only be described as magnifico! 

A massive $402,000 was raised to fund vital childhood brain cancer research, including at Telethon Kids Institute. That means that in just 4 years The BrainChild Ball has contributed over $1 million to advance discovery in childhood brain cancer research!!!

An evening like this doesn’t happen by itself and we are very grateful to our guests, sponsors, BrainChild Butterflies, supporters, volunteers, incredible entertainers and the BrainChild Ball committee.

An extra thanks must also go to our special guest Princess Bonnie and her mum Pipa for showing incredible courage in sharing their story https://youtu.be/zxhOryiLYW8.

While the Ball represents another big step towards happy healthy children free of brain cancer, there are many more to take.

A massive thank you once again and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Please feel free to head to

https://www.facebook.com/pirateshipfoundation/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2416762561718157

2018 – Australis

Our Australis BrainChild Ball was as the name suggests a celebration of all things Australian. Over 450 guests honoured the memory of Sindi, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at two years of age and passed away at four years. 

Sindi’s Fund was established on this night raising a massive $111,000 to kick start research into this program. 

Guests enjoyed a themed menu and true blue Aussie performances by the Australian Girls School Choir and local band Violette River helped us dance the night away. The 2019 BrainChild Ball raised a total of $292,000.

2017 – Issho Ni

The Japanese phrase for “together” encapsulated the spirit of the 2017 BrainChild Ball as guests came together to raise an incredible $210,000.

2016 – La Gourmet Soiree

Our Inaugural event, La Gourmet Soiree, celebrated the best of all things France, in particular the menu designed by Chef Guillaume Brahimi. Raising over $120,000 it certainly was a night to remember.