Racing club gives back

DONATIONS MADE: Prostate Cancer Awareness Group founder and member Richard Harry and Ian Mine, Breast Cancer Awareness Group member Jill Gilmore and Mount Gambier Racing Club general manager Brett Watson. Picture: CHARLOTTE VARCOE

Charlotte Varcoe

TWO cancer support groups have shared in funds raised at a Mount Gambier Racing Club community event.

Mount Gambier Prostate Cancer Awareness Group and Mount Gambier Breast Cancer Awareness Group will share in close to $2500.

The funds were raised through the racing club’s September Prostate and Breast Cancer fundraiser event.

Breast Cancer Awareness Group member Jill Gilmore said it was yet another generous donation from the community which was a continuing trend.

“We are very fortunate now that people are aware of our group and that the money stays locally,” Ms Gilmore said.

“Everyone is putting their hands up and giving us a portion of the funds they raise and it is also great to share it with the Prostate Cancer Awareness Group because we are all in the same fundraising area.”

She said the funds would go towards the organisation’s main project, its Helping Handbags which was typically given out to those recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

The handbags consist of a range of vouchers to assist with the financial burden of being diagnosed with cancer, including fuel and food.

“The BreastScreen SA van is back here at the moment so there will be more diagnosis happening and more bags needed,” Ms Gilmore said.

“This will help top-up the money that we have needed to buy the extra bags.”

She also encouraged women over the age of 40 to book in for a screen.

“It is important they get checked and you can book online if you are busy and cannot pick up the phone,” Ms Gilmore said.

“It is just peace of mind to have it done, you are never too young to get breast cancer and it can affect anybody.”

Prostate Cancer Awareness Group founder and member Richard Harry said it was great to have organisations such as the racing club assist not-for-profit groups.

“We have as many guys with prostate cancer as women with breast cancer,” Mr Harry said.

“You cannot get yourself a free prostate-specific antigen test until you are 50 and unless there is a family history of it then you can get it from 40.

“We have guys who are well under that who have been found with prostate cancer.”

He said the support group noticed the local prostate nurse had no medical models to show men the various parts of the body and pelvic area as well as the size of the gland, how various types of disease could affect the gland and how it could feel.

Mr Harry said the funds received would assist in ordering more of those models.

Racing club general manager Brett Watson said the event had been supporting the Prostate Cancer Awareness Group for close to 10 years.

Mr Watson said the recent event was not as big as previous years due to the awareness group having other commitments and the cost of living crisis.

“We backed off a bit but we still had about 160 people come along for the luncheon,” Mr Watson said.

“Being able to raise money for the local cancer groups is fantastic and something the racing club can give back to the community.

“At some point during the event the issues were raised and all the people were touched by the president’s speech because he has had experiences on both sides, his daughter had breast cancer and his brother has prostate cancer so it was quite touching.”