• Tony Bosworth

Pink Finss raises over $73K thanks to community fund-raising run

This year’s Pink Finss charity fundraising event was a bit different because of COVID but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of those who took part in the sponsored 11km runs, including the youngest - 12-year-old mates Lachlan and Ben who wanted to take part as a way of showing support to Lachlan’s mum who was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and has been receiving help and support from Pink Finss for the last 5 years.

Ben (left) and Lachlan on the fund raising run, with Jodie Amor and Suzi Ferris on day 8

“It was tough to run some days,” said Lachlan, “but whenever I felt like quitting I just thought of my mum, and women like her, and know that they have to keep going every day even when they feel like quitting, so my pain is nothing compared to what they go through.”

For the last 11 years the Hawkesbury charity – which helps support local women diagnosed with cancer – has held a major fundraising event at the Hawkesbury Race Club, the annual Pink Finss Charity Race Day.

It’s always a sell out event and a big day in the Hawkesbury because the community really comes together in support and Pink Finss usually raises around $90-$100,000.

In 2020 the group should have been celebrating 10 years of Pink Finss at the track but were unable to have the race day again due to COVID so instead they launched Jodie’s 10km a day for 10 days fundraiser where the charity’s founder Jodie Amor ran 10kms a day for 10 days to celebrate a decade of the Pink Finss.

The group raised $50,000 last year, so when COVID cancelled the race day yet again this year, Jodie decided to run 11kms a day for 11 days to celebrate the 11 years.

But this time the charity wanted to include the community in a way that encouraged small changes to a healthier lifestyle as well, so everyone was invited to take part in 11km runs and draw on their own networks to help fundraise. Twenty-five folks set themselves the challenge and joined in with Jodie.

L-R: Jodie Amor and Suzi Ferris, Suzi, Ben Bray, Lachlan Hanckel, Jodie Amor on day 8

"We have had to find different ways to fundraise because of restrictions cancelling events,” said charity founder Ms Amor.

“But sometimes different is good, and it forces you out of your comfort zone to try new things and I think that’s been the silver lining in all of this.

“What has been difficult however is not being able to see our ladies for our usual monthly support group meetings and not being able to help in ways we normally could because of COVID restrictions.

“This has meant that we have had to find other means of communicating and supporting our ladies.

Pink Finss founder Jodie Amor explains why the annual fundraising event is so important

“It’s been especially difficult particularly if someone has just been newly diagnosed because COVID has added an additional layer of stress to their lives and lockdown has meant that they have not been able to have the support of family and loved ones when they need it most."

Since the Charity began in 2010 it has helped nearly 300 women and families and has raised over $2.3 million.

“The beauty of Pink Finss is that we are a grass roots organisation that really gets in to make a difference with practical things, and we also source local service providers where possible so that we are spending money back in the Hawkesbury,” Ms Amor said.

“So far we have raised $73,760 which is beyond amazing given how difficult times are for some people,” said Leann Tibbey, Fundraising & Grants Coordinator for the charity.

Since COVID reared its head - which has been a big enough blow to many in the community by itself - Pink Finss has received requests for help from over 60 ladies newly diagnosed with cancer.

L-R: Shelley Brackley completing her daily challenge, Ros Williams having some fun with it, rollerskating her challenge, Jayde Gately riding her bike as her challenge

“What makes Pink Finss unique is that we get to know the lady diagnosed and help where they need it most,” said Ms Tibbey.

“Whether it’s in home services like cleaning, gardening, meals, respite, or mental health for the family, wigs, prosthesis, return to exercise classes or more, we can help.

“We also fund oncology massage to our ladies from our rooms in Windsor which is a specialist service for people needing help with lymphatic drainage or who have post surgical issues.”

Ms Tibbey said she thought the most memorable and rewarding moments were watching the personal achievements of the 25 people who took part.

“We had ladies that absolutely hated running, set themselves a challenge to run every day and it has been life changing for them and they now realise that if they set their mind to something they can do it,” she said.

“It’s also hearing the stories that motivated the participants to enter the challenge, as each had a personal affiliation to the charity. Whether they themselves were a cancer survivor, they had lost someone special to cancer, or whether they knew someone who was currently going through treatment, the challenge meant something to every single one of them and it was really special to see them participate with such love and motivation in their hearts. They were all truly inspiring!” said Ms Tibbey.

“What we have learnt is when faced with adversity our community embraces it, comes together and rises to the challenge and that’s why it’s so wonderful to live in the Hawkesbury.”

You can still donate to Jodie’s 11kms a day for 11 day challenge: Jodie's 11kms for 11 days Challenge (mycause.com.au)

Go to www.pinkfinss.com.au for more information.

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