Deniliquin’s newly formed CanAssist branch has set a goal of raising $80,000 for regional families affected by cancer each year.
The new benchmark was set last week after branch members reached their initial fundraising target a month earlier than expected.
A $5000 donation from Deniliquin company Purtills tipped the local group’s fundraising total over the $20,000 mark, a goal it did not expect to reach until July.
Following on from that, a Deniliquin Rovers Football Netball Club ladies day and the branch’s own high tea added almost $5000 more to the tally.
Having reached their initial goal, Deniliquin CanAssist president Kellie Crossley said it should mean the funds can start to be distributed to locals in need, starting next month.
She said come July 1 branch members would be calling on the community to help them reach their next big goal.
‘‘Our new goal is to reach $80,000 in fundraising each (financial) year,’’ Mrs Crossley said.
‘‘At our recent high tea event we floated the idea of raising $40,000 a year, but if we can raise $20,000 in five months we wanted to set the bar higher.
‘‘In the 2015/16 financial year Hay was able to raise $96,365, and Griffith $148,397, so we think $80,000 is achievable.’’
Purtills general manager Neville Purtill said the company was unaware the group was so close to its target when it chose to make its donation.
He said the local family business simply wanted to do what it could to help.
‘‘We wanted to support a group which supports others,’’ Mr Purtill said.
‘‘We are often approached by individuals requiring support, and this way we can offer that help through a coordinated group like CanAssist.
‘‘My wife Debbie and I also have personal reasons for wanting to support the group.’’
Purtills will also assist the group into the future with the provision of Caltex fuel cards to help with the cost of travel for medical treatment.
Mrs Crossley said the group’s pooled funds would be utilised to help in any possible way.
‘‘It can be used to pay pharmacy accounts, help with travel and accommodation costs, or even assist with household expenses for the person receiving treatment,’’ Mrs Crossley said.
‘‘It could be used for virtually anything, except medical machinery.
‘‘We are so grateful to Purtills for their donation which helped us reach our goal, and we also received a $500 donation from Rodwells last week, too.
‘‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of community support we have received since forming in January — there are ladies organising ‘girls nights in’ and Smoko Shak recently gave us their monthly tips.’’
Branch member Paul O’Donnell said other businesses wishing to donate are reminded that all donations are tax deductible.
Any donations made before June 30 this year can be claimed in this year’s tax.
Mrs Crossley said official corporate sponsorship of the group was now being sought, which she said could include a lump sum or regular payments.
She said businesses can offer a salary sacrifice option to their employees to help support the group, which she said would mean money is trickling into the funding pool on a regular basis.
‘‘At the end of the day, the more we have means we’re able to help more people.
‘‘We expect to have a launch over the next few months to further discuss how businesses can support our aim.
‘‘We’ve also been to see all medical and welfare groups — anyone who would deal with cancer patients — to make them aware of what we do so they can refer their patients to us.’’
For more information about CanAssist, go to www.canassist.com.au or www.facebook.com/canassistdeni.
Locals wishing to donate can contact Mrs Crossley on 0409955563.