By Jessica Anstice
The 2020 Cardinia Relay for Life holds a special meaning for members of the Ford Fairlane and Classic Cruisers Motor Mouths team.
With a drive to make a difference, the group, made up of classic car club supporters, will spend Friday 21 February relaying around Toomuc Recreation Reserve in Pakenham to raise money for cancer patients.
“Like me, every family on my team has been touched by cancer in some way. Sadly, almost every family has been,” team captain Noeleen Coogan Agius said.
“In my team, some have fought the disease themselves and beat it, and some have lost precious loved ones like me. I have lost my mother and my sister. My dad has fought prostate cancer and recently had surgery for melanomas.
“None of us want to see any family faced with this fight alone, we know that what we do and what we raise allows the Cancer Council to do wonderful things today and research into tomorrow and beyond.”
Together, the tightknit team has raised more than $20,500 over the past six weeks.
Hitting the ground running, the group has hosted a series of community events leading up to the Relay for Life, including sausage sizzles, bake sales, car shows, movie nights, raffles and its annual silent auction dinner night.
“Without the support of our local businesses, work colleagues, family and friends, we would not be able to achieve the results we do,” she said.
Relaying into their ninth year, the team is aiming to raise more money than last year’s total which was just over $21,100.
Since their first relay in 2012, combined they have raised over $105,000 for Cancer Council.
“For anyone who has never attended a Relay for Life before, all we can say is: once you are a part of your first relay, whether as a spectator or a team member, it is something you will never forget,” she added.
“The sense of community is so strong, and contrary to what some may think, it is never sombre, it’s quite the opposite – full of fun, music, mingling with your team and other teams, fundraising and lots and lots of walking.
“Like most people, we have all been involved in various areas of fire crisis support and this will continue, but sadly cancer waits for nothing and for no one, so we held off starting our campaign on time this year and have worked extra hard to make up the time and the funds.”
This year, Ford Fairlane and Classic Cruisers Motor Mouths team’s theme is ‘fun fluoro 80s and anything purple goes’ – talk about fun and games!
“Most of us mums loved the 80s growing up and we think getting our 80s groove on will be fun,” she said.
Ms Coogan Agius told the Gazette her message to the community is: “Please come down and see what goodies the teams are selling from their sites. Walk some laps with us, come say hello and if you would like to get involved in something that will make you feel amazing, raise funds for sufferers and research. And most importantly, have fun doing it.”
To donate: https://secure.fundraising.cancer.org.au/site/TR/RelayforLife/CCVIC?team_id=66042&pg=team&fr_id=6087