Campaigns unite in splash of colour
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.”
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