Lemons to celebrate a decade
About 19 months ago, Lemons With A Twist was looking a little sad. Held upstairs at Gilligans, the monthly after-work drinks function for women had only 20 remaining guests.
Kate Semken, who had attended Lemons With A Twist for some time, was disappointed to see it decline. So taking matters into her own hands, she turned the ailing social event around.
Lemons With A Twist now attracts more than 230 women a month. The old “networking” tag has been abandoned, and the event has been repackaged as a fun and social evening for the sophisticated set.
The women, who range in age from about the late 20s to the 50s, now come to socialise and mingle, watch performers, win prizes, have a few drinks and nibble on canapés.
Semken said taking over Lemons With A Twist had been one of the most satisfying experiences of her life.
“I have taken the emphasis off networking, and have turned it into a place to really let your hair down on a Friday night,” she said.
“It’s now about 90 percent socialising, and just a little bit of networking.
“There’s funky music, an amazing mix of women of all different ages, and there’s no attitude.”
Now held at Slide on the first Friday of each month, Lemons With a Twist offers prizes up to the value of $2,000. Local businesses donate the prizes and the organisations are in turn promoted on stage.
For the $10 entry free, women get a free glass of wine or beer and canapés served by waiters all evening.
The after-work function for women was created 10 years ago by Vicki Brackenreg as a means of establishing an evening where like-minded women could socialise in a non-club environment.
It falls under the banner of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association (SGLBA), which runs a similar social event for men, Fruits in Suits, on the third Thursday of every month at Slide.
The money raised from the events goes towards the SGLBA Good Works Program, which donates thousands of dollars to community causes every year.
Lemons With A Twist is celebrating its 10th birthday on Friday 5 October. Casey Donovan will be performing, huge prizes will be on offer and a French chef will be serving bite-sized lemon tarts to the women in attendance.
Karen Fisher, who has been attending Lemons With a Twist for 10 years, said the night had changed tremendously.
“It has developed into a fantastic monthly event where hundreds of women, and some men, attend.
“The whole feel and vibe changed, and it attracted a younger group of women, as well as the older demographic which I am a part of.”
The Lemons With A Twist 10th birthday will be held at Slide, 41 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, at 6pm on Friday 5 October. Members are free, guests $10. For more information about Lemons With A Twist, email Kate Semken at [email protected].