Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Cancer Trust Set to Assist Locals

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Cancer Trust Set to Assist Locals

Article excerpt

WHEN Norm Standing was elected chairman of the Coffs Coast Freemasons in August 2009, it quickly became apparent that he - and secretary Brian Freakley - were 'can-do' sorts of guys as they pushed for local trust to help people with cancer.

"Brian and I were of like-minds in that we wanted to do something significant for the community," Norm said.

Talking to staff at the North Coast Cancer Institute's oncology unit at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus, they decided the way forward was through financial assistance to patients and their families suffering hardship while undergoing treatment for their cancer.

"We set a target of $100,000 within two years and it now looks as if we will reach that, enabling us to establish the Coffs Coast and Clarence 'CanDo' Cancer Trust," Brian said.

Seed money of a $20,000 grant from MasoniCare, the charitable arm of the United Grand Lodge of NSW and ACT, got the campaign under way and since then, the masons have raised more than $80,000 through several fundraisers. These have included the Big Boys Toys raffle, in which a local won the first prize of a Holden Colorado and a Stacer Easy Rider boat; a popular charity golf tournament and now, a charity debutante ball, which is being held at the Coffs Harbour Racing Club on Saturday, June 26.

"The debutante ball harks back to another era where becoming a 'deb' was part of the school system, symbolising a young girl's graduation from high school into the adult world," Norm said. "It will include a sit-down dinner and lots of traditional ballroom dancing."

Brian added that because so many young people today no longer know how to waltz, the debutantes and their partners were being offered dancing instruction and etiquette training. "Best of all, it's free," he said.

The trust's deadline to raise the $100,000 is the ball, where the Sydney Masonic Grandmaster will formally hand over the cheque to the CanDo Trust president Julie Jardine. …

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