The connection between someone with breast cancer and their McGrath Breast Care Nurse is strong, but not even the McGrath Foundation was prepared for how much that strength would bring together entire communities.
This year’s Pink Up Your Town campaign exceeded expectations, with 30 communities holding a range of fundraising and educational events, and having a lot of fun doing it. The Foundation’s goal for this year was to recruit 25 communities.
While the funds are still coming in, more than $300,000 has been raised to support 120 McGrath Breast Care Nurses across Australia. These nurses support the patient and their family during their entire breast cancer journey for free.
McGrath Foundation Director and Ambassador Tracy Bevan wishes she could personally thank everyone involved.
“It has been a tough time for many towns throughout Australia this year, so to see the community come together in Pink and support their local families experiencing breast cancer has been very humbling to see,” she said.
Pink Up Your Town started three years ago in Mudgee (the town is still a strong participant) and this year expanded to all states except NT. Pink Up Mudgee coordinator Hugh Bateman said he could not be prouder of the region for all of their efforts.
“We are extremely happy with the amount of businesses, organisations, charities that have been involved this year,” he said. Highlights included pink cattle, horses, bowls, golf, lyrics in the lawn, mx shootout, and morning teas.
“The whole Pink Up Mudgee event can be summed up by what a lady said to me: ‘I look forward to the way the community all gets together for one cause, even though there is some sadness, it comes as a happy and joyous event,’” Hugh said.
For Marketing and Revenue Director at McGrath Foundation, Ryan Barlow, it was seeing smaller towns such as Braidwood surprise themselves with their efforts that stood out for him.
”Seeing first hand a town Pinking Up really brought home the true impact of the work we do. It reminded us that our nurses aren’t just helping breast cancer patients. They have an impact across the whole community around each patient.”
Ryan also said he was surprised by the return it brought towns, not just in social impact, but also in economic benefits.
“While this isn’t a reason to get involved on its own, the event produced an incredible outcome for some towns, who saw a significant spike in tourism and trade as a result of people in surrounding towns converging for events.”
If you’d like to join the fun and help raise funds next year, visit pinkupyourtown.com.au for details.