When Debbie Noonan, a resident of the Margaret River region and owner of the award-winning Margaret River Guest House in WA, came across an email about ‘Pink Up Your Town’, she instantly knew it would be the best way to honour the memory of a close friend she had lost to breast cancer.
“At the beginning, taking part in the campaign was just about honouring my friend, but then as our committee and helpers grew, I met wonderful, courageous and strong women who are living with and fighting breast cancer every day,” said Debbie.
Under the direction of a five-member committee, ‘Pink Up Your Town’ quickly turned into ‘Pink Up Our Region’ thanks to the overwhelming support of the Margaret River community.
“As word of mouth spread, it was easy to form a committee and assign roles based on each person’s skills and comfort level.”
True to their name, the entire region pinked up for a week, hosting a number of pink-themed events.
“The whole community really got involved, and local businesses did various fundraising events like high teas, archery competitions, breast cancer awareness evenings with raffles, and so on.
“Restaurants in the region did special pink meals with part proceeds going to our fundraising total. All the local shops kept donation boxes and pinked up their display windows, and our newspaper did a best-dressed competition for our main street shops.
“The quirkiest pink attractions had to be our pink cows which made every passer-by stop for a photograph and to a have a good laugh!
“Our main event was a Pink Ball which was at the end of the week-long campaign. We also had the pleasure of having Tracy Bevan attend the Ball, which made it the perfect end to a perfect week.”
McGrath Foundation Ambassador and Director Tracy Bevan was blown away by the community’s display of support.
“It was fantastic to see so many amazing ways they turned their town pink. From the cows at Cowaramup, wearing pink hats and pink feather boas, the local bakery selling pink cupcakes, and the chemist with pink bunting and pink items in their window. It really made me feel extremely emotional,” said Tracy.
With Pink Up Your Town set to return this year, Debbie has some great advice for any town pinking up for the first time.
“It only takes one small seed to be planted and from that seed, a beautiful pink town will emerge. In the beginning, take small steps, and surround yourself with like-minded and motivated people,” said Debbie.
“Your committee is the backbone, as are your foot soldiers, who drive the enthusiasm amongst the locals and businesses.
“Be open to new ideas and include the young generation. They have some wonderful ideas and great social media marketing skills.
“Be prepared to be overwhelmed with emotional stories but allow these stories to motivate and drive you to achieve the goal. And most importantly, enjoy the experience.”
Pink is the Colour of October!
Pink is the Colour of love, of life, of hope, of care. Host a Pink Stumps Day, Pink Up Your Town or fundraise your way this Breast Cancer Awareness Month (1-31 Oct) and do it in Pink to show your support for those experiencing breast cancer.
Your support will move us closer towards a future where no one goes through breast cancer without the care of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse.