In the picturesque NSW rural town of Berry, their popular Pink Up Berry campaign has been going strong for more than four years. But for local Berry resident, Deb Woolford, the self-confessed ‘captain’ of the fundraising committee — every day is a pink day for her.
In 2019, Deb gathered seven keen local residents to form a Pink Up Your Town taskforce and registered Berry so she could bring a little pink to the streets, schools and more.
“I had always wanted to get involved in McGrath Foundation and the fabulous work they do, after I lost my mother to breast cancer 21 years ago and my sister in 2018,” says Deb. “But being in a small town I wasn’t sure where to start.”
After receiving an email about Pink Up Your Town in 2019, Deb thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring the community together, raise funds for McGrath Breast Care Nurses and honour her family. “We still have five of our original members. Our committee meetings always take double the time because we have so much fun planning for Pink Up Berry.”
Over four years, they’ve raised more than $151,000, and in 2023, the passionate group of ‘pink ladies’ have some ambitious ideas to bring a delicious deluge of pink to iconic Berry.
“This October, our biggest event will be our annual race day, where the generous Shoalhaven City Turf Club will donate gate takings and we have the chance to sponsor a race.”
Their Pink Up Berry Trivia Night is also popular and usually a sell-out, and the Barefoot Bowls Day has participants dressing up in zany pink costumes. At Berry Public School the children also get involved wearing pink for a day and bringing a gold coin donation.
Deb feels blessed that so many Berry residents and businesses support the charity. “In Berry, most people know at least someone who has experienced breast cancer. On our Facebook page we have more than 50 volunteers who are happy to make cakes, knit pink beanies and more, and last year a local jeweller made a beautiful piece for us to raffle, which had a pink sapphire as the eye-catching feature.”
Berry is renowned as a foodie destination and many of the cafés, restaurants and delis get passionately involved too. “One year our iconic donut van made pink donuts, Hedgehogs Coffee Shop served pink Devonshire teas and The Hungry Monkey dyed their bread dough pink and served up unique and delicious ‘pink’ burgers!”
“But truly, every day is a pink day for me,” says Deb. “I sew and cook all year round for the McGrath Foundation, making things to sell at the Farmers’ Markets or local businesses. I’m even making sustainable shopping bags from leftover pink bandanas. It’s my ‘pink’ purpose I call it.”
Thinking of registering your town? “Definitely do it,” urges Deb. “Your life will change. You’ll make friends that you would never have met otherwise. And don’t worry, I’m not experienced in event organisation, our committee are just normal, everyday people.”
Decorate your town pink and turn Breast Cancer Awareness Month into your month to support McGrath Foundation. From your streets to your schools, decorate your town in the colour of care and raise funds to ensure no one misses out on the care of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse.