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Huge five years

Saturday, 21st September, 2019

(From left) Mary Ryan, Lexie Milne, Helen Bates, Leeann Clogg and Julie Garner prepare as Pink October starts to gear up again. PICTURE: Emily McInerney (From left) Mary Ryan, Lexie Milne, Helen Bates, Leeann Clogg and Julie Garner prepare as Pink October starts to gear up again. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

It’s been a big five years since the inception of Pink October with over $300,000 being raised for Breast Cancer support in the city.

The Broken Hill Breast Cancer Support Group (BHBCSG) - fund raising committee are again gearing up for Pink October and they need the community’s help to “Paint Our Town Pink”.

The committee and volunteers have been meeting on a regular basis since March, making rosettes.

“Pink October is our main fund raiser for the year,” spokeswoman Leeann Clogg said.

The BHBCSG has been operating for about 15 years, raising awareness and offering support to the Broken Hill community.

“The fund raising committee, consisting of twelve ladies, was formed in 2014, with their mantra being to raise awareness, support and assist the community of Broken Hill.

“Money raised was to support and assist all cancer sufferers, not just breast cancer.

“The first year of ‘Paint Our Town Pink’ campaign (2014) was a huge success.

“We are celebrating five years of Paint Our Town Pink, this year.

“The whole town gets behind the promotions with shop fronts, streets and houses being decorated in pink. 

“The community has purchased our pink polo shirts, and everyone is encouraged to wear pink for the month of October.”

Ms Clogg said the volunteers made over 5,000 plastic pink/white, pink/grey rosettes which were sold throughout the promotion, along with hats, bling stubby holders and a variety of other pink items.

“There have been golf days, barbecues, breakfasts, lunches, auctions, footy days, and sporting events organised by the community and businesses, with all funds raised being donated back to the BHBCSG.”

October 2014 also saw the first of the Pink Balls, with Virginia Gay (from Winners & Losers) as our celebrity guest and as Virginia had never been to Broken Hill before, she donated her time to appear at the ball.

“The ball was a huge success, selling out within the first two weeks of tickets going on sale,” Ms Clogg said.

“Getting Virginia to Broken Hill was not easy, due to her filming commitments, no commercial flights would get her to Broken Hill in time for the ball.

“The community were amazing and stepped up to help us out.

“Bruce Church and Jeff Woodroffe volunteered their time and a plane to fly Virginia from Mildura to Broken Hill, with Bruce also transporting Virginia to the ball in his vintage car.

“Virginia said she felt like a princess.”

The second Pink Ball was hosted by Country Music singer Tania Kernaghan, which was also a huge success.

“To date, the fundraising committee has raised over $335,000, with all monies raised being donated locally to the hospital and The Royal Flying Doctor Service and cancer patients requiring assistance.”

Over 6,000 pink polo shirts have been sold and over 20,000 rosettes have been made and sold as part of Pink October.

The wig library was also introduced in 2014.

Tracy Gauci from the Hair Strand donated her experience and time to ensure all patients maintained their dignity and could have the wigs personally styled to suit each individual person.

In the last five years, the money raised has gone towards purchasing oncology beds, fridge, lymphodemia machine, vein finders (for all wards and RFDS), pulse laser relief machine, oncology chairs, training of physiotherapy staff in the use of machines (includes course fees, travel, accommodation), cool cap (hair follicles are frozen, which assists with maintaining hair), scales, physio touch machine, heavy duty wheelchair, IV clamps, oxygen holders, mobile BP monitor, arm compression sleeves and sozo machines.

Donations have also been made to Flinders Lodge and Greenhill Lodge in Adelaide, as many patients from Broken Hill use this low cost facility and services. 

“We would like to encourage everyone to get behind us again this year and support Pink October.

“Polo shirts are available from sizes 10-22 for women and medium to 5XL for men. 

The Pink shop will be open from Monday to Saturday from 10am, so come along and purchase your pink merchandise and decorate your street, houses and business.

The Pink Shop is located at the former homewares store at the Plaza and opens this Monday.

“We can deliver orders of rosettes and polo shirts, just ring or text me on 0407 067 551 or leave a message on our Facebook page.

“If people want to let us know about any fundraising events they are hosting, we can also promote them on our Facebook page and send in photos of all your pink decorations.”

Ms Clogg said there had been an amazing response from volunteers this year.

“Every second Saturday, people would come to help us make the rosettes. It became a real social event.

“It wasn’t just women who had breast cancer, the whole community came along.”

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