Continuing mum's act of kindness
LOSS and heartache can spur people on to achieve great things. It's driven one family to make a difference and raise funds in the process.
On Saturday morning, more than 50 people crammed into Cherryl Lawer's Severnlea home for an annual fundraising initiative.
She lost a sister and father to cancer, deaths that were the motivating factor for her mother to host her first Biggest Morning Tea more than two decades ago.
"Mum (Gwen Carnell) instigated her first annual Biggest Morning Tea in her cosy kitchen following the loss of our sister and dad from cancer,” Cherryl said.
"Beginning with just a few family and friends, it has grown to become a much-anticipated yearly event with up to 50-60 guests - friends, family and neighbours.”
Cherryl and her sister-in-law Alison Carnell have continued Gwen's passion for the cause.
"For as many years as she was able, Mum continued hosting the morning teas with the help of her daughters and daughters-in-law.
"Since her move to Carramar, the morning teas have been a continuing tradition within the family,” Cherryl said.
Every year, Cherryl is buoyed by the presence of family and friends, keen to aid in their efforts.
"It's very important to have them here and people always ask 'when are you having it again?'”
Last year they raised $1600, and $1400 the year before that.
"I think when Mum started off it was about $300 and it's just got gradually more and more,” Cherryl said.
"But we have more people coming along these days. People are so generous.
"We've had a lot of cancer through our family and I think a lot of other people who come through have done too, so it's important to so many people.”
This year, Cherryl and Alison's Biggest Morning Tea managed to raise $1866 for Cancer Council Australia.