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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

More than a movie to raise vital funds

Most of the time watching a movie is simply just an enjoyable pastime but next month a screening of the film June Again will be so much more. 

The Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF) is hosting the Mother’s Day event on Friday 7 May in a bid to raise funds for its vital services.

It’ll be much more than a movie though, the not-for-profit will transform the Vmax Cinema at Event Cinemas Kotara into a hive of activity with market stalls, live music, a lolly buffet and a “fully pink cinema”.

HBCF provides support to women across the region who suffer from breast cancer. 

Event organiser Ellie Wells says the foundation is “purely focused on service delivery”.

“We provide a whole heap of essential support services to people through their breast cancer journeys,” she said.

“That’s everything from lawn maintenance, house cleaning and transport to and from treatment to a wellness set of services like rehabilitation, wigs and prostheses.” 

She adds the pandemic has created a number of challenges. 

“In the last 12 months alone through COVID our numbers have doubled,” Ellie said.

 “Where we used to help a couple of hundred people a year we are now up over a thousand a year, so there has been a real need for that support.

“Cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic so we’re getting more referrals than we ever have before which is a big thing.”

Margaret Clarke knows all too well how vital the charity’s support is – they got her through some dark days. 

The grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer last June and says HBCF helped her fight it. 

“They’ve helped me in many ways,” she said.

“First of all it gave me the reassurance that I was going to get through this and they were only a phone call away and everything was there for us.

 “It was a relief not having to worry about anything knowing that they had our back.” 

For Margaret, the hardest thing about her diagnosis was the uncertainty and loneliness. 

“Especially during COVID,” she said

“I had to go through it on my own, my family couldn’t come to the hospital with me, they couldn’t come to treatments or anything like that so it was a bit daunting but HBCF guided me through.

“I didn’t have to think about anything, that was the good thing because your mind is just a muddle and you can’t cope with everything.” 

The Mother’s Day Movie Night will be the charity’s second event since it was forced to wind back fundraising last year. 

“We’ve gone from having a series of events throughout the year to almost none for 12 months but the support we provide needs more funding,” Ellie said. 

“HBCF is purely funded by the local community, we don’t get any government grants, we have no support from larger organisations, so we really rely on donations and community fundraising.

“The difference between HBCF and other breast cancer charities is that every dollar raised for HBCF stays in the Hunter and helps a local family through breast cancer.” 

Tickets for the event are $34 each and include popcorn, soft drink and a goodie bag.

For more information on how you can support HBCF or to purchase tickets, go to the charity’s website.

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