It was a notice on a pay slip back in 2000 that started me on my journey of fundraising for Cancer Council ACT.
They were looking for people to form teams to participate in the inaugural ‘Relay For Life’, where teams of people take it in turn to walk around the athletics track at the Australian Institute of Sport in the ACT. Money raised through donations and sponsorship is used for research, prevention and support services to aid cancer sufferers and survivors.
I stood in front of about 200 people at a preschool staff meeting and suggested we form a team. We started with 12, raising $1,600 the first year, from there we have just become stronger and stronger.
Now fund raising is basically a full time job. I organise trivia nights, dinners, raffles, theatre parties, auctions and much more.
Some team members make jams and pickles, while I (with occasional help from team members) sew a variety of children’s dress up clothes, which are either sold to preschools or sold at market stalls on a regular basis.
The sale of a children’s book, which is unavailable in retail outlets, entitled “Who Took The Egg?”, written by Merle Hammond (who was sadly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away in 2005), an Early Childhood Educator for over 30 years, has enabled us to raise several hundreds of dollars for the team.
I had my hair of 10 years growth shaved off and raised over $3,000.
As Team Captain of the Bold Bandannas, I feel responsible for its ongoing running, but I am strongly supported by many members of the team, some from the original group and others who have joined in the ensuing years.
I have also been well supported by local businesses and clubs, the general public, Cancer Council ACT and of course, my family.
To date the team has proudly raised $267,000 which is used for research into finding a cure for cancer, support services and prevention programs.
While I have not been afflicted with the insidious disease, members of my family have, as well as members of the team.
During the 16 years we have been fundraising we have lost 2 team members to cancer and so we must continue to fight to find a cure.