Biggest morning tea to help the cancer fight

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
The Parks and Wildlife Service’s Suzanne Peacock and Anita Hetherington.
Camera IconThe Parks and Wildlife Service’s Suzanne Peacock and Anita Hetherington. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Despite the unusual circumstances, people around the Great Southern are digging deep to raise money for the Cancer Council WA through its annual Biggest Morning Tea.

While the world’s focus has been on COVID-19 this year, the Biggest Morning Tea is a reminder that one Australian is diagnosed with cancer every five minutes.

For more than a decade, Albany’s Parks and Wildlife officers have been raising funds to help those affected by the disease.

This year’s fundraiser might look a bit different in their morning tea room, but the motivation is as strong as ever.

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Parks and Wildlife Service regional manager Greg Mair said he and his team would take a break from work on Thursday to raise money and awareness.

“We have a range of employees and various people who have been affected in their close circles with cancer,” he said.

“We appreciate the impacts that it can have on a community.

“We thought about all the things coming up and did worry that we might not be able to have it, but we’re comfortable now with the open area and measures in place.”

Mr Mair said that while the world was busy dealing with the COVID-19 situation, it was still important to remember other worthy causes.

“It is easy for people to retreat and be very disconnected, but the other demands of day-to-day living haven’t gone away,” he said.

“We think it is important to maintain that sense of community and normality.”

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction’s Albany office will have hand sanitisers, extra cleaning procedures, social distancing and single-serve, pre-cut food.

Cancer Council WA’s Great Southern regional education officer Bruce Beamish said support for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea was critical.

“It is one of Cancer Council WA’s biggest fundraisers and we urge hosts in the Great Southern to continue to show their support for those affected by cancer during this critical time when they are more at risk,” he said.

“The reality is that even while many of us have had our lives put on hold, cancer doesn't rest, and thousands of Western Australians are dealing with the emotional and financial burden of a cancer diagnosis on top of this pandemic.”

Mr Beamish said hosting a virtual morning tea was a great way to stay in touch with colleagues or friends.

“Hosting a virtual Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea event is not only a great way to raise funds for those in need, but it’s also a great opportunity to stay connected during times of social distancing,” he said.

“For those working from home in the Great Southern, we know that it can be tough without your colleagues around, so hosting a workplace virtual morning tea will help you reconnect, keep your team culture strong and morale high.

“For friends, families and neighbours, a cuppa over video chat is the perfect way to stay in touch and support each other.”

Events can be held any time in May or June. To donate or register to host a morning tea — in-person or virtually visit biggestmorningtea.com.au.

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