There’s more to these 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur sponsors T-shirts than meets the eye.
Sitting next to them, chairman Warren Morrison and deputy Sue McGarrity agree on one thing: that the generosity of the sponsors has been the biggest factor in the success of 24 Hour over the past 16 years.
The charity started by the late Fred Borg has raised $4.8 million and is poised to exceed the $5 million mark this year.
It would have been reached last year but Covid-19 came along.
But what is important is that thanks to 24 Hour and everyone involved, especially the sponsors, the Macarthur region has the best cancer therapy centre in NSW, maybe the entire country.
Nobody wants to get cancer, but if the worse happens for a Macarthur resident – anyone living in Campbelltown, Camden and Wollondilly – can at least be confident they will get the best possible treatment right here.
On Friday, the 24 Hour family, along with some of the sponsors and associate professor Stephen Della-Fiorentina, director of the cancer therapy centre, came together at Clintons Gregory Hills showroom to launch another ambitious program of fundraising.
Mr Morrison received hearty applause when he opened proceedings by announcing that thanks to a top up in funding from 24 Hour, Macarthur cancer patients will not have to pay for parking at the new multi-level carpark at Campbelltown Hospital.
Macarthur cancer therapy centre sees more than 200 patients a day for chemotherapy or radiation, clinical visits, side effect or symptom management and clinical trials.
“These are the sort of things our sponsors have enabled us to do over the years,’’ Mr Morrison tells the South West Voice following the launch.
“I am pretty proud that we will be paying for the parking so they’re not out of pocket.’’
Mr Morrison, who has been there from the early days, took over the reins of 24 Hour after the passing of Fred Borg in late 2016.
On Friday morning he woke up and decided the sponsors T-shirts deserved to be on show at the official launch.
“I got up early, ironed them, and here they are,’’ he said during his speech.
These days, new T-shirts are introduced every two years, although the very first one was kept a bit longer.
A new one is due for this, the 17th year of 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur.
“Choosing the colour is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make,’’ chimes in deputy Sue McGarrity.
And then it begins – calling sponsors, old and new – and the chairman will be leading the charge.
“Sponsors are what makes it so successful, it always has been the case,’’ says Mr Morrison.
“I’ll be out there asking all the sponsors to come on board.’’
Once that’s done there’s also the 13 different fund raising events through the year, which is a massive undertaking for the 24 Hour team.
Mr Morrison says everyone’s welcome to get involved in the effort and with 13 events they can choose one they are interested in.
“All they have to do is go online, check them out, choose one you like and off you go,’’ he says.
“It’s not all about money, it’s also about awareness to bring people to the big event, the 24 Hour walk in October.’’