Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Hills Angels

It is amazing how one person, one life, one story can touch you on so many different levels. This is the story of Hillary and her Hills Angels, as I know it.

The amazing location, Stillwaters - Davistown Waterfront

I had been invited to a fundraising breakfast through a friend and had heard the heartbreaking story of Hillary. A beautiful person who has been struck with a terminal brain tumor. Sadly for Hillary it is a matter of time. If ever there was an example of living in the here and now Hillary and her Angels certainly demonstrate this.

As a new mother Hillary was part of a mothers group, like many of us. It is here that sleep deprived mothers got together to exchange stories about life with children to share a laugh and to support each other in this new life. It is here that firm friendships and bonds were formed. It was so eloquently described by one of the mothers, Lisa, that HILLS angels stands for Help Involves Love, Laughter and Support. When Hillary became ill her friends rallied around. Unfortunately Hillary was continuing to decline in her health. Her husband had to leave work to care for his wife and child. This in turn has left an incredible strain financially. How do you pay your mortgage, put food on the table and care for the people who love and need you without an income? Enter the Hills Angels.
These mothers were determined to do what they could for Hillary and her family and with steely determination stomped there way down the fundraising path with the resolve to ease one part of the stress this family faced. They have formed their own charity - Hills Angels and have linked into the Gosford Lioness club. The president of the club also came to the breakfast and cheered them on as the future generation for the Lioness Club. This is a power to be reckoned with and leaves you in awe of these strong..invincible...women (isn't there a song about that?)

The breakfast had a theme of 'Hats and Heels' and was beautifully done. I was blown away by the community spirit shown. The owner of the restaurant, Domenic, (Stillwaters at Davistown) opened up her restaurant for the morning, the staff donated their wages for the day to the cause, the musicians who performed came up from Sydney (with no payment) at the request from one of the angels. There were bottles of wine donated - not just $10 bottles, but $150 bottles of champagne given away, facials, hair straighteners, handmade quilts, flowers, signed cook books..the list goes on and on.

The Angels not only organised this but were part of the staff for the morning. They went around filling up champagne glasses, judging the best hat and heels and having a chat to all of us that wanted to know more.
Hillary and her Mum.

Hillary's Mother had come over from New Zealand for (amongst other things) this breakfast. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house when Hillary and her Mother were at the front of the room with microphone in hand. Hillary's Mum was thanking everyone for coming, Hillary kept pushing the microphone closer to her mouth...such a moment that all of us daughters share with our technologically challenged mothers!

I met some wonderful women here too. Bianca and her mother Narelle were such fun and Narelle (in conjunction with the gorgeous muso Dani) provided some much needed light entertainment. Narelle lead the singing of Hey Big Spender as Dani took off his shirt....Go Dani, go Narelle.
You can see/hear more of Dani and his music at
That is Narelle singing her heart out to Dani (finger in the air). Why don't you spend a little time with me...
Where's my hug?
This is where I met Hillary. I had heard about this story but not yet met this women who has already entered my life and touched my heart. She is a gentle soul, I do not pretend to know her, but she appears to have a quiet resolve about her. What I do know is that she must be a very special person indeed. To have so many people around her at this time is special indeed!

The restaurant
A huddle with Hillary and her Angels. It seemed too intimate to intrude, but I think this shot captures the mood!
Hold out your hand and open your heart.....Thank you to Hillary and the Hills Angels for all that you do and all that you show. Know that you are touching many peoples lives


  1. Well I am Bianca...the much embarrassed but also (how could i not be), proud daughter of Narelle (aka shirly bassy)!

    My tears are flowing this morning (again) as I have read this account of the beautiful story that is taking place here.
    Lisa has is in a nut shell! A rainbow coloured nutshell full of amazing and inspiring women, whom when coupled with any common or seemingly unconquerable goal, can achieve amazing things. Helping a friend, overcoming the sadness and pain of a terrible illness, or digging deep to get a family through an impossible time.... nothing is out of reach when women put their minds to it.... Especially these women!!!

    GOOOO HILL and her ANGELS!
    You are all in our hearts everyday! And thanks for a fun morning and a great way to start the weekend! See you at the next event!

    Luv B xo
    PS thanks Lisa for your fantastic blog!!

  2. WOW Lisa, this is beautiful!. I, like yourself had not met Hilary til that day and only knew of her story through the amazing friends I have in HILLS meet her and see her determination and amazing spirit, and to see first hand the closeness of the friendships these ladies have all formed was truly a beautiful and life changing experience.


    Lisa Rance

  3. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your amazing story it is lovely to hear such heartfelt words from someone who attended out function and truly was inspired. I am sharing a link to my blog. I have not been efficient as you, I havent had the chance to do a post as yet, but my husband has made a button to share there and you can pop over and grab it for your blog if you would like. I hope to have it up on our website later today. Thank you again
    Shannon Davey
    A Very Proud Hills' Angel

  4. This is certainly a story to be shared. Bianca you could only be proud of your mum, she was great :) My mum is the same. She goes to places that I would never go, but gets away with it.

    Lisa, it is amazing how strong some friendships can be. I think my next post will be along those lines..

    Shannon and fellow Hills Angels we are all giving you a standing ovation. Inspirational indeed!

  5. Great post Lisa..."Hillary" is a collective noun for people that need help at a moment of great stress. It probably started as an idea from someone and it picked up momentum...amazing what happens when people put their minds to positive things.

    Sending Hillary my best wishes and all of you involved my respect for an inspiring act of support for her and her family.

    Best from Oia !

  6. inspiring story lisa ! bring your camera tuesday! xx

  7. Hi,my name is Kelly.
    I had the privellige of working with Hillarie at stillwaters restaurant before she became sick. She was such fun to work with. She taught me all the tricks of the trade.
    I also worked on the morning of Hats & Heels for Hil, I was so emotional when the domestic blitz bus rolled in, the leastI could do was to work for free for this amazing cause. The Hills Angels did an fantastic job organising events & raising funds for the Freemans. I sure would want them on my side in Hillaries case.
    Well done Angels.
    Miss you Hil.
    xx Kelly

  8. Did Hillary make it or did she pass away and when?

  9. I have just watched the domestic blitz show about Hilarie and Peter and went online to find out that unfortunately Hilarie had passed away six months after the program in August 2010. My heart filled with sadness and I cried for hours, but I know that Peter and Hadley will be being looked after by the Angels. These fantastic eight women need to be commended for what they did for the Freeman family. You girls are awesome!

    1. I'm just watching it now and googled to see how life panned out for Hilarie. Now I'm crying. How sad.