By Raquel Mustillo
A MILLICENT woman has helped reduce the impact of prostate cancer on Australian men, their partners and families one piece of pre-loved clothing at a time.
The Walnut Shop coordinator Wilma Moore has raised more than $32,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia since starting the popular op-shop six years ago and hopes to double that amount within the same period.
After being forced to find a new location following the closure of the Rotary Community Market last year, Ms Moore has established a new base in Millicent and has since expanded stock and trading hours.
“When the Rotary Market closed down, I still had a lot of stock left and I really wanted to continue with the shop,” she said.
“My husband died of prostate cancer and I had raised a bit more than $30,000 and I wanted to double it to make it worthwhile.”
Staffed completely by volunteers – largely Ms Moore herself – the store stocks clothing, jewellery, books, hats and shoes, with most donations coming from community members.
“Some of the items we have in here are brand new such as the shoes, which have been donated by Maureen Brennan from Sassi,” Ms Moore said.
“People are so generous and have donated a lot of items, sometimes I might have to do a little bit of preparation work, but it is all very good quality.
“I’ve sold beautiful, vintage fur coats before, I have sold some very nice underwear and corsets and a lot of high end designer clothes.
“I had a beautiful wedding dress I sold to a lady in her 80s, which came with a matching handbag and she looked lovely.”
Ms Moore said meeting a broad range of people ranging from “label hunters” to “young lasses getting done up for their deb” was a highlight of the shop.
“We get all kinds of people come in from young kids who are looking for dress up clothes to people who are getting kitted up for weddings and funerals,” she said.
“There are a lot of label hunters who come through – people who are looking for brand name clothing and we are lucky to have a lot of great items donated.
“I also get bric-and-brac donated and I have had some really interesting stuff come through, I’ve got a couple of pewter mugs from the year Australia won the America’s Cup, a lot of racing fascinators and at the moment I have an old bowling bowl and shows to match.”
Ms Moore hoped to expand the second-hand shop even further in the future and ultimately secure a more prominent location.
“It would be nice to have a shop in the main street, but because I donate everything to prostate cancer I can’t pay a lot in rent,” she said.
“I’d like to get a larger space to be able to display more items and raise as much money as I can for prostate cancer.
“Prostate cancer is something that has affected a lot of people in our community and the more money we can raise, the better.”
The Walnut Shop is open from 10am to 3pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 10am to noon and is located behind Sooz in the Shed, 12 Williams Road, Millicent.