The Cancer Society is planning a Queenstown support centre – and expects a major boost from a new Melbourne Cup fundraiser.
Cancer Society Otago Southland Division spokeswoman Marie Wales says the society wants to establish a local support centre with qualified staff providing services for patients and families.
The local branch would also aim to develop partnerships with health services in the area and increase its volunteer base.
A Queenstown-based committee, chaired by Wakatipu man Geoff Clear, has been established to oversee the process.
“We’re working on creating a framework to meet the needs of the region over the next five to twenty years,” Wales says.
The first step towards making that possible will be a fundraising kickstart from Eichardt’s Private Hotel’s Melbourne Cup horse race celebrations next month, she says.
The hotel, on Queenstown’s waterfront, hosts an afternoon function on November 6, the day of the famous race.
As well as a live screening of the race, it will include silent and live fundraising auctions.
Eichardt’s owner Mel-bourne-based Imperium Capital Group has for the past five years ploughed more than $300,000 into medical research of breast cancer, leukaemia and lymphoma.
Imperium managing director Andrew Cox says him and wife Sarah are passionate about Queenstown and cancer charities.
“When [Eichardt’s] general manager Chris McIntosh suggested this initiative as part of our corporate social responsibility objectives, we felt it was an excellent way to give back to the community in which we do business.
”It’s something we’re very happy to support and we intend it to be an annual fundraising event,” Andrew says.
The Cancer Society’s Wales says they’re thrilled to have support from Imperium and Eichardt’s.
Money raised will go towards planning and development of local support services for those battling cancer, she says.
“There’s no doubt our expected population growth will also mean an increase in the impact of cancer on the community,” she says.
The event tickets are $89 and include a glass of bubbles and canapes.