2017 Blacktown Relay for Life exceeds $120,000 fundraising target

Bob Fitzgerald accepts a cheque from NSW/ACT Freemasons representative George Bell, looked on by Freemason Harry Griffiths, Sharon Griffiths, Cancer Council's Leanne Langdon, Peter Figg, Paul and Jennifer Rabaud, and Kathie Collins. Picture: Geoff Jones
Bob Fitzgerald accepts a cheque from NSW/ACT Freemasons representative George Bell, looked on by Freemason Harry Griffiths, Sharon Griffiths, Cancer Council's Leanne Langdon, Peter Figg, Paul and Jennifer Rabaud, and Kathie Collins. Picture: Geoff Jones

Blacktown Relay for Life has exceeded its ambitious fundraising goal to tackle cancer.

A $6000 donation from Masonicare, the charity arm of the Freemasons, helped take the annual relay tally to $123,294 this week.

Blacktown Relay for Life co-founder Kathie Collins thanked Blacktown Freemasons for running the 24-hour barbecue for the second time, as well as Blacktown Rotary for its many years of food support.

The councillor said the relay for life had raised $2.5 million for the Cancer Council in its 15-year history.

Cr Collins said the committee planned to grow the fundraiser by targeting Blacktown Council residents in suburbs further out from the city centre.

“Blacktown City is an untapped resource. We’ve hardly scratched the surface of people who can be involved,” she said.

“My goal is that one day cancer will be something they only read about in the history books. To do that, we’ve got to get leaders from all suburbs to get everyone involved, because they all have a cancer story to tell.”

Cr Collins also wants to help address the gap in treatment outcomes for Aboriginal people by removing barriers to healthcare access.

Freemasons member Harry Griffiths, who lives in Shalvey and attends the Nepean lodge, said the men were happy to assist with the relay as soon as they were asked.

The Blacktown district members also assist with fundraising for causes including multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

“Masonry is basically a way of making good men better,” Mr Griffiths said.

“We help one another, we look after one another, and we look after the community as well.”

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