Over the past number of years, zo-ee has donated over $350,000 towards research for Motor Neurone Disease and continues to raise money by holding events such as our annual cocktail party “MotorOn”.
zo-ee was formed in 2005 by a group of close young professional friends after a committee member’s mother was diagnosed with MND.
Apart from raising funds for research and creating a greater awareness for the disease, zo-ee is dedicated to supporting sufferers of MND and their families by trying to defeat this low profile, but fatal disease.
- Gina Gonis – President & Co-founder of zo-ee
- Gina is President and co-founder of zo-ee, and was inspired to join Karen and the team in launching zo-ee after Karen’s mother’s illness with the disease. Gina’s a law clerk in her professional time, but is passionate about people from all walks of life and getting out and about.
- Marcus King – Vice President
- Marcus has been with the zo-ee team for a few years now, and brings to zo-ee his expertise in business development and stakeholder management to ensure zo-ee can continue to grow successfully. Marcus loves to take new members under his wing to ensure their individual skills and attributes flourish in a team environment.
- Karen Mustica – Founder of zo-ee
- zo-ee was established in 2005 by Karen following her mother’s diagnosis of MND. Feeling helpless about the prospect of facing a disease which has no cure, Karen inspired a group of friends to get together and raise money in the way they knew best – throw a party! In February 2006, the first MotorOn ball raised an astounding $25,000, and the rest is history. Karen has now stepped outside of the spotlight to focus on having her third child, but attends regular meetings and encourages the team from the sidelines.
Brett Barraclough – Committee Member
Brett joined zo-ee in 2010 after reading Karen’s letter “A Word for Life’ in the MNDA newsletter. Brett’s father passed away in 2007. Brett works as a radiation therapist at the Peter Macallum Cancer Centre and is a highly talented artist.
Lisa Kastaniotis– Committee Member
Lisa joined zo-ee because her friend George has been living with MND for years and his fighting spirit inspired her to take action. Lisa works for the Cancer Council as a program manager for donors and bequests and brings this professional experience to zo-ee. Lisa loves 80s music and dancing (badly, but enthusiastically!)
Krystal Sarandis– Committee Member
Krystal’s father, Nick was recently diagnosed with MND, and with little known by her family of the disease has embarked on a journey that so many Australian’s must face each year. Her father is her inspiration and her family a pillar of strength, and with zo-ee hope to help others affected by MND. Krystal works within the fashion industry which helps her ‘explore’ another two passions, shopping and travelling!
Karen Arnstein – Committee Member
After much tribulation, Karen’s active Mum was eventually diagnosed with MND hence has recently returned to Melbourne in support of her family. Karen joined zo-ee to not only strengthen her support network but to also help generate awareness amongst her peers and the much needed financial assistance MND research requires. Karen works in the Project Management field and would one day like to extend these skills to organising Charity events.
Begona Zwickler-Foncueva - Committee Member
Begona joined Zo-ee in 2012 after her husband Horst passed away from MND in June 2012. He was a fit 48 year old and the diagnosis came out of the blue in June 2011. Being DINKDIs (double income, no kids, dog instead) they travelled often to Thailand and Africa (on safari). Horst was part of a worldwide double blind trial for a new drug. Begona runs two businesses, enjoys food, wine, photography and walking the dog. New to fundraising she looks forward to being part of a team that raises awareness and funding for scientific research.
Brooke Langskaill - Committee Member
Brooke joined zo-ee in 2012 after losing her Mum to MND. Knowing little about the disease, Brooke was inspired by zo-ee’s fundraising efforts and commitment towards a cure. Brooke is passionate about raising awareness and much-needed funds for MND and in her spare time enjoys reading, travelling, and being surrounded by family, friends, and her dog Twinkle.
Leanne Delis – Volunteer & Co-Founder
Leanne is a co-founder of zo-ee and has a very strong passion for the committee. Leanne’s aim is to create awareness and raise funds for MND by giving her time and encouraging others to support zo-ee through sponsorship and attending events. Leanne was born in Melbourne and has been working in the Recruitment industry for over 8 years. Leanne also enjoys spending time with her friends and family, travelling and looking after her well-being.
Melanie Pasias – Volunteer
Melanie joined zo-ee in 2009 after her father was diagnosed with MND. She was excited that such a group existed and felt that it was important to be able to do something positive and be pro-active during that time. Melanie is committed to raising funds for MND until a cure is found. Melanie works as a lawyer.
Carmen Saywell – Volunteer
Carmen recently joined zo-ee after being inspired by a friend’s journey with MND. She’s just moved back to Melbourne after travelling the world and decided she wanted to get involved in something that was rewarding, as well as fun!
Ally Probert – Volunteer
Ally has recently joined the zo-ee team. Motor Neuron Disease has tragically taken the lives of her Father, Grandmother and 3 other family members. Ally is inspired in work of researchers and wants to contribute to ensure we see a cure. Ally is currently on leave of absence and travelling the world (we are very jealous) but will re-join the team upon her return to Australia later in 2012.
Sarah Height – Volunteer
James Hayes – Volunteer
James joined zo-ee a few years ago and has focused on acquiring donated items for MotorOn silent and loud auctions – which continue to be a successful contributor to zo-ee’s annual fundraising.