What a privilege it has been to be on the Committee to organise Proud Villagers supporting Love Your Sister! We are four Hervey Bay Mum’s who have united with a common goal of kicking Cancer in the face hole and raising some money towards the charity – Love Your Sister.
I have followed the Love Your Sister story from the start and have always admired Connie, Sam, and the team for their endless efforts to raise awareness and much-needed funding for Cancer Research. Jane and I talked about holding a fundraiser a few years ago with Connie and Sam, however, Connie was simply too ill to be away from a major Hospital or travel great distances to attend regional functions. So, Jane took her Love Your Sister Swear Jar everywhere she went for a month to raise some much-needed funds.
As the years went by, more friends and family started their battle, continued their battle or lost their battle with Cancer (including Connie on 08/09/17). 2018 started with a mutual friend’s diagnosis of aggressive Cancer. A fit, young, healthy Mum of 3 – it could have been any of us.
A light bulb moment happened in May when it was announced Samuel Johnson would be attending a Business function – we immediately knew we needed to hold a Fundraiser specifically for Love Your Sister but how could we keep Sam for an extra night? After researching and pitching to Kristie – (Fundie Evangelist) she spoke with Sam who was immediately on board and we worked towards a date in October where Sam could come back specifically to meet his Villagers and raise some serious $$ for his Charity.
And so, it began – an overwhelming response to our Fundraiser with 10 amazing Business Sponsors coming on board and 253 people buying tickets in the first 48 hours. Our MC for the evening, Scott Rowe has offered invaluable mentoring and support and we are so grateful to have him on board.
We have had endless people offer Gifts towards our Raffles and Auctions, offer to help on the night or simply buy a ticket knowing that every little bit will help towards smashing our Fundraising Goal.
We are humbled that Sam has agreed to be our special Guest on the night and can’t thank everyone enough for your support. Together we will be kicking Cancers butt!!!
Kristy, Jane, Trisha & Sara.
Samuel Johnson was able to take a few minutes out of his very hectic schedule to answer a few questions below: September the 8th marked one year since the passing of your sister Connie to breast cancer, how do you keep going?
She is part of my every day and work, it’s hard to get my head around (the anniversary). I keep going because Connie would want me to keep going. I’ve spoken a lot during the past 12 months about being the custodian of her legacy. But I’m also the custodian of her mission. That’s what motivates me right now.
How much money has been raised for cancer research to date through Love Your Sister, how far are you of the target of 10 million dollars?
I’ve reached every fundraising goal I’ve set in life, thankfully. My most recent, most ambitious goal (they must grow with each set!) is 10M and I didn’t just promise that to my dying sister, I promised it to our 560,00-strong village. It’s my verbal-will theory. It’s much easier to ignore a personal goal, so to combat that I tell everyone I can, as insurance. Then the potential egg on my face becomes a real motivator. We’re just over $8M now. But a million is tough to make and I don’t treat the rest as a given in any way.
Where will the funds raised be directed at the upcoming event in Hervey Bay this October?
Towards the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Lab at the Garvan Institute and towards a new metastatic tissue bank, to help solve ALL cancers. 100% of donations are spent on research-only. No admin. No skimming., No bullshit.
What would be your advice to someone going through a similar journey, please give us a short message to families struck by cancer – whether it’s for the person diagnosed, or the support around the person diagnosed?
There is no right and wrong when it comes to cancer. Everyone is different, and people care in strange ways. Be patient with everyone. Listen. And talk. And cry. And laugh in the face of it.
Proud Villagers Supporting Love Your Sister
Beach House Hotel-Hervey Bay