Busting a gut for ball bash

Getting the ball rolling: Committee members for Queenstown's inaugural Cancer Society ball include, from left, Marie Wales, Kirsty Sinclair, Vanessa Robb and Julia Bentley

Queenstown’s inaugural Cancer Society ball next Saturday will be a fun night, a fundraiser and an awareness exercise, organisers say.

Featuring iconic New Zealand pop rock band The Feelers, Queenstown band The Flavour, a three-course meal and unlimited beer and wine, the $200-a-head Springtime Glam Slam Ball, at Millennium Hotel, follows the tradition of popular Cancer Society balls in the main centres.

Committee member Kirsty Sinclair says that, after costs, it’s hoped the 240-capacity event will raise up to $15,000.

“The big thing is that all profits get to stay in this local area, and this is why we’re all busting a gut to make this successful.

“I think you’d be really hard-pressed to find any family or individual that hasn’t somehow, directly or indirectly, been affected by cancer.”

Fellow committee member Julia Bentley adds: “This particular ball is also about raising the profile of the Cancer Society locally, because not a lot of people are aware of what it actually does.”

The society’s local supportive care services boss Marie Wales, who’s joined the committee, says her organisation’s role is “to help people live well with cancer and address any practical issues that they might face”.

“That’s especially important because we live so far away from a treatment centre.

“We engage families and find out what will make a difference to them.”

Wales says her society currently supports up to 42 families in the Wakatipu Basin.

“We’re supporting a family with a one-year-old having treatment right through to a 95-year-old, and we’ve got at least five young mums who have pretty tough roads ahead of them.”

The society is also there to support people after they’ve had treatment.

“People don’t realise that cancer treatment can cause people to have chronic illnesses,” Wales says.

Anyone wishing to buy a ticket for the September 24 ball can email: kirsty.sinclair@harcourts.co.nz