On a warm sunny day in November, 160 people gathered together at a Galston property. They gathered to remember family and friends lost to breast cancer. They gathered to celebrate battles won against the terrible disease. And they gathered to support one of Australia’s most worthy charities – The McGrath Foundation.
For Christine Kemp who hosted the morning tea, the motivation behind the event was due to the loss of her dear friend and the diagnosis of another.

“I had a girlfriend who was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years ago. She fought for five years, but she lost her battle four years ago on April 11th. Over those five years I would have a morning tea and donated to The Breast Cancer Research. Then my friend Robyn who helped me each week in the garden was diagnosed with breast cancer – my heart broke again as it had only been three months since I had lost my best friend Vanessa.

When Robyn had her operation and I went to visit her, she was having problems with the drainage tube and there was no one to help her until the Monday when she went back to visit her doctor. I decided I would start donating to The McGrath Foundation, so we could have a nurse who could take care of beautiful ladies like my friend. It has just become something I needed to do.”

Christine hosts a morning tea every two years and invites everyone she knows to come to her home and raise funds and awareness for the important work The McGrath Foundation do.

This year, Christine and her guests raised a staggering $22,000, making this year her most successful morning tea fundraiser yet.

“I had the support of some very generous local businesses who offered up prizes to be auctioned off at the morning tea. I would not be able to raise this kind of money without them.”

Guessland offered up the prize of a weekend stay at their new bed ‘n’ breakfast as well as the use of an Aston Martin for the weekend, which was auctioned off for $3500. Other big donations were received for prizes including a personal training package from Build A Body, trade work from Binet, a weekend farm stay donated by Taylor Construction and a 4WD, fishing and camping adventure donated by CVW.

Channel Seven’s Jim Wilson was the auctioneer at the event, helping to raise the bids for an extremely worthy cause.

“Jim attends our morning tea every time we host, he is an amazing man. He is so open about the loss of his son and his sister to cancer – he just made everyone’s day with his caring presence,” said Christine.

Also in attendance was The McGrath Foundation’s CEO, Holly Masters who truly values the support of philanthropists like Greater Sydney’s Christine.

“It was such a privilege to be invited to join such an amazing group of people who have supported us for such a long time! So much work had gone into the preparation of the event, which was held in a beautiful garden, and luckily we had great weather.

“It was wonderful to hear stories from so many people who had been touched by breast cancer in some way. Chris, the committee and all of their volunteers did the most incredible job pulling together phenomenal prizes from local businesses and supporters. The event truly epitomised how a community can come together, do something to help others and strengthen their own bonds at the same time,” said Holly.

The McGrath Foundation proudly support people with breast cancer by raising funds to provide specialist McGrath Breast Care Nurses where they are most needed in Australia.

McGrath Breast Care Nurses provide essential physical and emotional support to anyone experiencing breast cancer and their families – from diagnosis and throughout their entire treatment.

“Support from a nurse is completely free thanks to the generous donations from our supporters including the community, corporate partners and the government. It means people with breast cancer and their families can access this vital service without it impacting their financial situation and they can focus on their treatment,” said Holly.

The McGrath Foundation has a number of major fundraising events and campaigns that take place throughout the year that people can get involved in, or anyone can register for their own fundraising event, and of course summer is cricket season and a great way to support the McGrath Foundation happens through Cricket Australia.

“The McGrath Foundation also does a lot of work with the wonderful world of cricket. This summer we have our annual Summer of Cricket campaign which includes the iconic Pink Test at the SCG. In January 2020, we’re excited to see the Australian and New Zealand cricket teams come together to compete in the Pink Test as thousands of fans all wear pink to help raise funds for the McGrath Foundation. Last year we raised a phenomenal $1.3 million in five days. It really is an incredible event – the atmosphere is electric and the support we get is absolutely incredible.”

To learn more about the wonderful work the McGrath Foundation does, head to www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au

If you'd like to subscribe to Greater Sydney Living and receive 4 issues a year with FREE postage and handling, then click HERE!