Supporters enjoy a Pink Ribbon Breakfast high tea at Caroline Manning’s home.
Having a fractured pelvis and being on crutches didn’t stop Caroline Manning when she and fellow breast cancer survivors Katie Durbin and Lyndal Johansson hosted a Pink Ribbon Breakfast recently at Caroline’s Puketapu property.
About 25 people enjoyed a high tea “breakfast” of pink bubbly, gorgeous sandwiches, cakes and scones to raise money for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s largest annual fundraising campaign.
Due to a lack of registrations, more people in Hawke’s Bay are urged to host a breakfast this year as the campaign, which usually takes place every May, has been extended to Friday, June 17.
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ chief executive Ah-Leen Rayner says a third fewer Pink Ribbon Breakfasts have been hosted this year, representing a drop in income of roughly $600,000.
The charity is desperate to make up the shortfall in order to ensure its services aren’t impacted.
“In our third year of the pandemic, and with an under-resourced health system, breast cancer patients are really feeling the effects,” Ah-Leen says.
“We’ll always be there for patients, but if we can’t meet our fundraising target, it will limit the impact we can have. So please, sign up to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast to help make a difference for women going through breast cancer.”
Caroline, who was hosting for the first time, says the three women got involved because breast cancer has affected each of them directly.
“We’ve all been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past. We wanted to give something back.”
About $2000 was raised at the breakfast which Caroline says was very straightforward to organise and had “a great fun atmosphere”.
“The fundraising page template is all set up for you. All you have to do is personalise the page and select your own personal fundraising goals. Once you have done that you just have to put it out there on social media alongside your invitation to the event. It was very relaxed with a few games and fundraising activities thrown in.”
She says luckily Katie and Lyndal stepped up when her crutches meant she couldn’t.
“Katie and Lyndal and their two fabulous husbands did everything.
“Also a big shout out to my daughter Holly for baking cakes and her boyfriend Darian for being the most fantastic parking attendant. Otherwise it was easy and is as simple as asking your friends and family round for drink and some nibbles.”
Fellow host Katie says the event was made even easier to organise when they were also sent a starter pack with goodies to help decorate and use for prizes.
“There are online resources as well and they also email and call to make sure you have everything you need. Super helpful.”
Everyone donated directly to the page so they didn’t have to handle too much cash.
“Also people who couldn’t make the event were able to donate anyway.”
There were other opportunities for people to make cash donations at the event, which were then posted onto the page afterwards.
“There is even a QR code which we printed out so that you could scan and donate at the event.”
The trio was very keen to try to keep pushing the breast cancer screening programme message.
“What better way to do it than use ourselves, ‘survivors’, to do it while having a lovely afternoon? It doesn’t have to be a breakfast event — you can do one at any time of the day. We decided to do afternoon tea which worked really well.”
Caroline says running the event with friends meant they could invite more people.
“We organised it together well ahead of time and invited a lot of people knowing there would be plenty of no shows. We shared our breast cancer stories which meant we had a strong, meaningful reason to be hosting and I know we all wanted to make it clear we were doing it to try to give something back to all the people that had helped us survive the disease.”
Lyndal says she wanted to give something back but also raise awareness about the disease and how early detection is so important.
“We all feel so thankful to have been diagnosed early which saved our lives. This was a fun and easy way to give back.”
■ Pink Ribbon events can be hosted anywhere, at any time, and registrations will close on June 17. For more information and to register to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, visit www.pinkribbonbreakfast.co.nz