Karen Petersen has raised over $9000 for her inaugural Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea Cancer Council fundraiser after taking over the event from long-time host Lois Bayre.
The morning was a huge success, far exceeding Ms Petersen’s $5000 goal and filling the Blue Lake Bar & Bistro with 140 guests for the sold-out event.
Mrs Petersen said while a few things had changed, she was happy the event went so well.
“I think I have blown Lois away with the amount of money I have raised because the most she has raised was about $13,000 but that was with 400 people in the room,” Mrs Petersen said.
“It was important for Lois to be there and enjoy her morning out while we acknowledged her contribution to this wonderful event.”
A highlight for the morning was Cancer Council ambassador Channel Nine’s Will McDonald calling in live to talk about his experience with stage 4 prostate cancer and the recent 120 room build at the Greenhill Lodge facility which will be finished later this year.
“I just want you to know how grateful people like me and my family are to know you are out there raising money to help myself and others like me,” Mr McDonald told the crowd.
“Cancer Council SA raise money for accommodation, support and lifesaving research, but they also inspire hope – hope that when the worst happens support, love and kindness will be there.”
Mrs Petersen said having Mr McDonald speak from the heart was a real honour.
“I think Will’s message was very important that cancer was not going to stop him, and you have to stay positive, listen to the experts and get the required treatment if you are in that position,” she said.
Ms Petersen thanked her committee, the business houses of Mount Gambier that donated and friends and family.
“I am so blown away by the generosity of the community and we have to keep shopping local to support local businesses,” she said.
“A lot of people I spoke to in the room have used the Cancer Council lodges in Adelaide for treatment because most of these people do not have anywhere in the city to stay at and access support services.
“My team are ready to help out next year and I look forward to what we can achieve in 2023.
“If we can sell-out every year and raise over $5000 for the Cancer Council I would be more than happy.”
People can still donate online using Mrs Petersen’s reference number 7004819475 on the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea website.