Annual Pink Shearing for Liz Day raises a record $70,000 for Breast Cancer Research Centre
Farmers with generous spirits and deep pockets have pushed one of the Wheatbelt’s biggest charitable events’ fundraising total into record-breaking territory.
More than $70,000 was raised for the Breast Cancer Research Centre at the annual Pink Shearing for Liz Day at Yorkrakine on July 31, a record for the event which has raised more than $200,000 for the cause during the past eight years.
The annual affair is co-ordinated by the Jumbuck Shearing Team and held in a pink-themed shearing shed at Di and Quentin Davies’ Cardiff Merino and Poll Merino stud, just south of Wyalkatchem.
The idea for the fundraiser began in 2014, when shearer Tom Reed and his wife Lucy tragically lost their good friend — Albany woman Liz Roberts — to breast cancer.
Each year since, the Reeds have rallied a team of shearers to donate a day’s earnings to the Breast Cancer Research Centre and have held the event at the Davies’ shed.
With a smile on his face and a drink in hand, Mr Reed told Countryman on Saturday night that Liz would have been amazed to hear of the huge fundraising total.
“She would have been very pleased, she was an incredible lady,” Mr Reed said.
“This event is a small way my wife and I remember Liz, and honour her, because she was just a great person.
“It is always amazing to see how many people come and donate. Everyone knows how hard it is to make money.
“So to turn out and support the cause is just amazing. You don’t have to look far to find someone affected by cancer.”
This year’s $70,000-plus fundraising total was given a $3000 head start in April, when the Jumbuck Shearing Team donated nearly two days of wages to the cause.
More than 60 people attended the event on Saturday night, travelling from across the State to pack into the Davies’ shearing shed.
Guests watched the Jumbuck Shearing Team blade shear 10 sheep from Manunda Stud in Tammin and enjoyed pizza prepared by Quade Ag Services owners Bernie and Gab Quade.
She would have been very pleased, she was an incredible lady.
Hands flew into the air as patrons competed for the record 65-plus auction items, which included 5000 saltbush plants, 200 tonnes of lime and 25 tonnes of finishing pellets.
There were also a range of pink items on offer on the night, including shearing blades, shearing brooms, jumpers and trays of Pink Lady apples generously donated by New Leaf Orchard in Manjimup.
With a hot pink jacket and a microphone, former Elders auctioneer Jimmy Sangalli led the spirited bidding while farm-girl-turned State Opposition Leader Mia Davies perched on a wool bale to record auction results.
Ms Davies’ threw her support behind the event, held at her aunt and uncle’s farm, forking out hundreds of dollars for a large tray of Pink Lady apples and a hot pink jumper.
Perenjori farmers Ally and Colin Bryant bought the first item, paying $750 for a Chuffer heater, followed by Wyalkatchem farmer Steve Gamble who paid $600 for a Stihl chainsaw.
Mr Sangalli, a former real estate agent with Elders, said the event was one of the most generous fundraisers he had been involved in during his 40 years working in regional WA.
“I think it is just amazing, all of these people were here for the right reasons and this is as good as it gets,” he said.
“I just love coming out to the Wheatbelt because these events are such a pleasure to be a part of.”
Among the guests this year were Liz’s parents, Noel and Geraldine Boyce, who attended for the first time after being contacted by friends when the Pink Shearing for Liz Day was mentioned on Landline earlier this year.
Holding a framed picture of their daughter — which hangs in the shed at each event — Mr Boyce said it was “lovely to see her” watching the event held in her honour.
“I have been really impressed with the money raised for research, because so many families have been affected by breast cancer,” he said.
“It is just amazing to see all of the people associated with it, and for so many people to remember our daughter.”
I think it is just amazing, all of these people were here for the right reasons and this is as good as it gets.
Mr Davies said he was “extraordinarily happy” with the turnout and fundraising total, and so thankful to his wife Di and three daughters — Felicity, Keisha and Jordy — for their help.
“It is always an unknown on how many people will turn up, so to get a really diverse crowd of 150 people in the room is so special,” he said.
“It was amazing for Liz’s parents to see what has been set up in their daughter’s honour.”
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