Cam­paigns unite in splash of colour

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY LOTTE REITER

Asea of pink and pur­ple will flood the Wim­mera’s cap­i­tal next month as two can­cer aware­ness cam­paigns unite.

Hor­sham and Dis­trict Re­lay for Life’s Paint the Town Pur­ple is part­ner­ing with the Mcgrath Foun­da­tion’s Pink Up Your Town this year to cre­ate a new ‘Paint the Town Pink and Pur­ple’ project.

Paint the Town Pur­ple in­volves busi­nesses dec­o­rat­ing their shop fronts with ‘big, bold and vi­brant’ dis­plays in hues of pur­ple.

The an­nual event, in its 10th year, raises aware­ness for Can­cer Coun­cil Vic­to­ria and marks the start of a 2020 Re­lay for Life cam­paign for Hor­sham and dis­trict.

Co­or­di­na­tor Tami Lane said when Hor­sham and Dis­trict’s Re­lay for Life com­mit­tee heard the Mcgrath Foun­da­tion’s Pink Up Your Town was also in Oc­to­ber, there was ‘no ques­tion in our minds’ that the two cam­paigns needed to work to­gether.

“Our goals are ex­actly the same: in­crease aware­ness around can­cer and the sup­port ser­vices that are avail­able, par­tic­u­larly ser­vices in town that peo­ple are not al­ways aware of,” she said.

Hor­sham Po­lice Act­ing Sergeant Suzanne Ar­mati said she reg­is­tered the Hor­sham sta­tion to par­tic­i­pate in Pink Up Your Town for the first time this year and was ex­cited to also join forces with Paint the Town Pur­ple.

She said of­fi­cers would dec­o­rate the sta­tion foyer in a ‘sea of pink’, hang up a ban­ner and wear pink po­lice shirts – badge and ranking in­cluded – as their way of say­ing, ‘can­cer is out there, and it is a very real is­sue’.

“Many of our work­mates and col­leagues have been touched by can­cer, it’s very preva­lent in the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“This is a cam­paign we wanted to take part in to en­cour­age peo­ple to think about can­cer.

“If we can raise a bit of aware­ness, we’ll feel like we have achieved some­thing. Halls Gap and Nhill po­lice sta­tions are par­tic­i­pat­ing as well.

“Hope­fully this can be some­thing we do an­nu­ally.”

Cru­cial sup­port

Hor­sham’s Rene Vi­vian cre­ated Paint the Town Pur­ple 10 years ago, and the cam­paign has since been adopted across Aus­tralia.

Mrs Lane said now was ‘more im­por­tant than ever’ for busi­nesses, clubs and or­gan­i­sa­tions in Hor­sham and sur­rounds to get in­volved in the ‘fun and colour’ and cre­ate their own unique shop-front vi­su­als.

She said there was never a right or wrong way of par­tic­i­pat­ing, be­cause any sup­port would help en­sure con­tin­ued re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and ser­vices for peo­ple af­fected by can­cer.

“Par­tic­i­pa­tion is more im­por­tant than ever given the in­crease of peo­ple in our com­mu­nity be­ing di­ag­nosed with can­cer,” she said.

“Every per­son di­ag­nosed is a daugh­ter, a son, a hus­band, a wife, or, when you least ex­pect it, a child.

“Can­cer does not dis­crim­i­nate. We need to stay vig­i­lant and one step ahead.

“We’re en­cour­ag­ing busi­nesses to cre­ate a talk­ing point in the form of a vis­ual dis­play. Think big, bold and vi­brant – make the com­mu­nity stop and take no­tice.”

Mrs Lane said early de­tec­tion was key to sav­ing lives, and the Paint the Town Pink and Pur­ple cam­paign had the power to make peo­ple stop and think about their health.

“We all know that early de­tec­tion is the key, be­cause we hear it on the tele­vi­sion, the news­pa­per and on so­cial me­dia,” she said.

“But when did you stop and ask your doc­tor for a health check? – not be­cause you have been told to, but be­cause you want to make sure you are in the best pos­si­ble health you can be.

“I can al­most guar­an­tee that a newly-di­ag­nosed can­cer pa­tient wished some­one had stopped them for a pre­ven­ta­tive rather than a treat­ment.

“If just one per­son gets checked as a re­sult of this month’s aware­ness cam­paign then we have made a dif­fer­ence.”

Hor­sham and Dis­trict Re­lay for Life chair­man Kings­ley Dal­gleish said while busi­nesses had the op­tion of fundrais­ing as part of the Oc­to­ber cam­paign, there would be a greater fo­cus on sim­ply show­ing sup­port and rais­ing aware­ness of the ser­vices that peo­ple could ac­cess.

“We Paint the Town Pur­ple as a bit of a re­minder that now is the time to start en­ter­ing teams and fundrais­ing for Re­lay for Life,” he said.

“It is an op­por­tu­nity for us to keep it in peo­ple’s minds.

“We have had a com­pe­ti­tion for busi­nesses in the past, but we aren’t push­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, we are just en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to get be­hind the cause and show their sup­port.

“There’s a greater fo­cus on why we’re do­ing this and show­ing the ben­e­fits of in­creased aware­ness.”

Mrs Lane said busi­nesses could reg­is­ter for ‘Paint the Town Pink and Pur­ple’ by call­ing her on 0417 002 237 or email­ing hor­shamvic.re­lay­for­[email protected] gmail.com.

She said all busi­nesses would re­ceive a par­tic­i­pant’s pack af­ter reg­is­tra­tion and would have un­til Oc­to­ber 1 to set up their win­dow dis­plays.

Next year’s Hor­sham and Dis­trict Re­lay for Life will be at Cough­lin Park on March 13 and 14.

The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser and ra­dio sta­tions 3WM and MIXX FM are ma­jor spon­sors of Hor­sham and Dis­trict Re­lay for Life.

FUN AND COLOUR: Hor­sham and Dis­trict Re­lay for Life com­mit­tee mem­bers Tami Lane, left, and Kings­ley Dal­gleish are ready to turn the town pur­ple and pink for can­cer aware­ness dur­ing Oc­to­ber. Paint the Town Pur­ple is part­ner­ing with the Mcgrath Foun­da­tion’s Pink Up Your Town cam­paign this year to form a united front against can­cer. Picture: PAUL CAR­RACHER

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