Cancer funds stay in town
AS VISITORS arrive in Stanthorpe for the Snowflakes Festival, they're surprised at how cold it is and the Winter Warmers stand, with their colourful beanies, gloves and jumpers, does a roaring trade.
Things went so well this year that the group was able to donate $3600 to the Stanthorpe Cancer Support Group.
Chairpwoman of the group, Debbie Wilmot, said a portion of the money was already earmarked to help three local children, aged 18 months, three and 12 years of age.
"One hundred per cent helps families here in Stanthorpe,” Ms Wilmot said.
"All the money stays here.”
Ms Wilmot said that cancer treatment led to significant financial hardship in many cases. There are also associated costs of travelling, accommodation and reduced income as many people have to give up work while undergoing treatment.
In one case, Ms Wilmot was phoned by a woman who had no money after taking her son for cancer treatment at a Brisbane hospital and so could not get her car our of the carpark. Ms Wilmot immediately transferred money but the problems did not end there.
"They were sitting at home in the cold. They couldn't afford the gas,” she said.
Ms Wilmot said that the fund also helped many elderly people as not only were they the age group most likely to be affected by cancer but many were reliant on the age pension to cover all their living expenses and had little left over for medical treatment.
She said one patient, an 80-year-old man with bowel cancer who had no family nearby had only $7 per fortnight to live on after he had paid for transport and accommodation costs while receiving treatment.
Referrals come to the group by way of health professionals.
"At least once per week we get a call asking us if we can do something,” Ms Wilmot said.
She said that people were keen to help with fundraising activities "because it's local”.
Winter Warmers was organised by Trish Gaske, Tere Bonner and Betsy Pay at the first Snowflakes in Stanthorpe festival to arrange donations of knitted and crocheted items.
This year, Anne Mungall, "our knitter-in-chief” joined, replacing Betsy Pay.
The three knit and crochet all year and also take donations from a group at Tenterfield and local crafters including the Vintage Hookers.
"A big job was made easy with the friendship and humour of these ladies,” Ms Wilmot said.
Mrs Gaske said one one contributor, Daphne Day, surely must hold the record for the number of knitted children's jumpers in one year.
Winter Warmers are always looking for more donations of goods and yarn of "any ply, any colour”. Contact Ms Gaske on 0438785082.