Despite the technicality that at Mr. Perfect we tend to plan and review over Financial Years (July to June), we had to indulge and cover off as succinctly as we could the calendar year that was 2019.
There were some big milestones, administratively, operationally but none more important than the stories and lives we had the privilege of having a tiny impact on, for the betterment of their mental health.
Here is a snapshot of the best of 2019:
DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) Status
It may sound boring, but it was no mean feat to discover we managed to secure DGR Status to ensure donations to Mr. Perfect were from now on going to be tax deductible. At times laborious, and rightly so, our legal gurus Baker McKenzie made it far easier.
BBQ Expansion < 20
As summer came to an end, in early 2019 our BBQ location counter ticked over the 20-mark, meaning our presence was being felt further across Australia for more men and their mental health.
Arguably one of the biggest highlights of the year was winning this award. We were surprised to be nominated by a fellow men’s mental health movement founder (Josh Quarmby from Blokepedia) and were delighted when it was announced.
Bunnings Sausage Sizzle BBQ
Thanks to my right-hand man and unofficial "COO" Troy Mullins, we pulled off a huge feat, organising and executing a Bunnings Sausage Sizzle BBQ at Artarmon in Sydney.
A tonne of people volunteered to help and the result was breaking the store record for the amount of sausages served and money taken, no mean feat.
My work with Mr. Perfect gained some pivotal exposure, recognition and $10,000 by being one of three winners from the Northern Beaches area of Sydney. Our official home is here, despite our nationwide work, but we hope to work closer with Westfield in 2020 to support more men in the community.
Respected Sydney Psychiatrist Dr Mark Cross and talented filmmaker Hugh Cross shone a light on Mr. Perfect and I when we appeared in this artistic film that was made for The Big Anxiety Festival. In 2020 our story will also appear in Mark’s soon-to-be-released (and much anticipated) book.
Trying to be the jack-of-all-trades is not only testing personally for me, but professionally as an organisation, it made perfect sense to increase our levels of governance and experience.
Gordon Long, with Board and strong corporate experience (as well as being a damn good human) gladly accepted the opportunity.
One of the creations that has thrived as its own entity, our brother organisation MRP FC took another huge stride forward this year, winning the Grand Final and gaining promotion to the top flight division in their regional league.
Not bad for a club that started from nothing, with nothing, from a casual kick-around four years ago.
Furthermore, and we cannot claim any plaudits for this, but we the club were beyond proud to have two superb athletes and men playing for us, Ben Atkins and Taj Lynch. Both reached the pinnacle of football and were chose to represent Australia in the World Cup for the inspirational Pararoos.
The team at OnePath were pivotal in our growth in 2018/2019 by providing financial support, and thankfully they agreed to continue. Now being part of the wider Zurich Group, they will be working even closer with us to increase our effectiveness, impact and target areas of Australia that need our brand of support.
Mr. P Cup 2019 / Five-A-SYD / Fives4Lives
Somehow hands-on Board Member Pete Regan along with Committee Member Jimmy Fletcher, planned, organised and ran a bunch of football tournaments that Mr. Perfect benefitted from.
The annual Mr. P Cup was our most played and attended yet, raising a decent sum, as well as the popular Five-A-SYD even spawning an Everton FC soccer jersey with our charity name on!
These gents have also been increasingly involved with Fives4Lives, an already established tournament that may well see more involvement from us in 2020.
Big Xmas BBQ – Sydney
To round off the calendar year we held one of our BBQs as a Christmas special and supersized the scope. Devoid of trivial and fanciful “things” (snags, bread, onions & a football!) we just focused on providing connection for all at a testing time of the year. It did not disappoint and brought together a group of 50+ people that enjoyed the support, community and connection.
Generally across 2019 I have been continuously taken aback by the generosity and selflessness of the people that make up the Mr. Perfect team. And the growth of our grassroots support.
From the Board (Gordon, Jeremy, Ilan, Tom) and the de-facto Operations Team / Committee (plus Trent for revolutionising our online community), to our sponsors, supporters, donators, event volunteers and of course our Hosts that make the BBQs happen. Too many to individually recognise here but the lengths they go to are endless.
All of this resulting in us hitting a record 300+ BBQ attendees in late 2019 and just shy of 30 BBQ locations. Thank you.
The topic that keeps me doing this. When Sunday afternoons roll around the phone notifications light up with feedback and stories.
To the man that had not left the house for a year, to men unable to see their children, to those retiring and losing their identity and purpose, to those cast out by their family, to the mum that told of her 10 year old child attempting to take his life, to those that despite everything turn up to help others, you are what Mr. Perfect is.
We cannot wait to see the impact we will have together in 2020.
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