Fate seemed to have been at work when the idea to organise charity event Domestic Abuse Needs Community Evolution (DANCE) came to More Than Mortgages (MTM) director and 2018 MPA Top 100 Brokers finalist Deanna Ezzy.
“I was at a fundraising dinner and had this lightbulb moment where I thought ‘I want MTM to have a charity bank account’,” Ezzy told MPA. “So, in order not to forget, I emailed myself to open another business bank account for the sole purpose of holding money that I would later donate to charity.”
At that point, Ezzy had no idea which charity she’d support. DANCE entered the scene after her friend posted a Facebook article about six women in Australia who died due to domestic violence in a span of one week and thought about setting up a charity in the Latin dance scene that would raise awareness around domestic abuse.
“The idea resonated strongly with me, not only because I had just opened a charity account, but because I was also affected by domestic violence as a child,” Ezzy said.
Her passion for dancing further fuelled her desire to make the DANCE event happen. Ezzy was a Latin dancer and instructor before becoming a broker. She taught at a local dance school in Canberra and performed nationwide and internationally.
More valuable than funds
DANCE took place last March 10 and sold over 150 tickets. The one-night event included Latin dance lessons from two of Australia’s top dancers, Pat Tito and Jacki Valk, as well as performances by various schools and a silent auction.
MTM covered the event’s entire administration expenses and matched its over $3,800 raised profits. Ezzy and her friends who helped organise DANCE decided to donate the proceeds to Doris Women’s Refuge, an outreach that provides transitional support for women and children escaping domestic violence.
Although her team has raised over $7,000 for Doris Women’s Refuge, Ezzy considers time as her biggest contribution to the event. She dove into the project while running a business that requires over 60 hours of her time per week. Ezzy’s work included crafting proposals to get the support of 38 various dance schools around Canberra, tracking donations from a silent auction, overseeing the production of marketing collaterals, getting the Rotary on board the project and chasing people up for sponsorship payments.
A quieter month
Ezzy admits that she completely burned herself out putting the event together, particularly because she had to settle $9m-worth of loans last February and she only had two staff, with one being a newbie.
She has learned not to take on more than she can handle. In DANCE’s second run, she’ll get more help and will take on less brokering work in the six weeks leading up to the event even though that would mean a quieter month or two in terms of loan lodgements.
“I love that I’m doing something to help the local community… it helps to get the MTM name out in the community as a business that supports those in need,” Ezzy said.
“I can’t wait to present the cheque to Doris Women’s Refuge. I think that will be a really special moment.”