When Kate Bonser handed over a cheque for $75,000, she didn't realise what an emotional experience it would be. Her dedication over the past year, along with an equally passionate advisory board and production team, saw her realise her dream of helping the fight against cancer through the gala ball, Tuxedo Junction.
"We have all had that call from a friend or family member with the news of a cancer diagnosis. It's impossible just to sit back and do nothing," Ms Bonser said.
Tuxedo Junction was born from a group of friends and business colleagues who had personal brushes with cancer. The ball aimed to raise $50,000 from the event, but far exceeded that mark.
The Cancer Council Victoria Director of Community Relations and Fundraising Deb Stringer said Tuxedo Junction has made a significant contribution towards the fight against cancer.
"The Cancer Council relies on community efforts like Tuxedo Junction to raise funds. Community fundraising events play a key role in supporting lifesaving cancer research, education programs to help prevent cancers and detect them at a stage when they are most curable, and support services for people in times of great need," Ms Stringer said.
Funds raised through Tuxedo Junction will support two grants. The first, the Tuxedo Junction 2007 Grant, is a $52,000 grant supporting research into liver tumours. The second grant, known as the Seeley Gratitude Grant, will provide $23,000 for a support service for people with advanced cancer.
The specialist advanced cancer telephone and internet support group service funded by the Seeley Gratitude Grant is an important addition to the Cancer Council's current support services. This new service will connect people who have advanced cancer and will be overseen by an oncology nurse who is able to provide practical advice. Currently in pilot phase, the service will be running groups towards the end of year. For further information please call the Cancer Council Helpline in 13 11 20.
To find out how you can start your own Cancer Council fundraising event, please click here or call 1300 65 65 85. To join the team for Tuxedo Junction 2008 or to find out more about the event, call the Cancer Council's Supporters Hotline on 1300 65 65 85.