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Thursday, 1 November 2012
Page: 13035

Ms MARINO (ForrestOpposition Whip) (09:42): This weekend the Cancer Council's Relay for Life in Bunbury in the south west will celebrate its 10th anniversary and will almost certainly pass the $2.2 million-mark for total funds raised in the past decade. It is an extraordinary feat for a regional community and one that brings the community together. Everyone that is involved in this really should be applauded.

It is quite clear the relay has been embraced by thousands of people. It is truly something special and it is all for the fight against cancer—a cause which sadly touches all of us. More than 2,500 people will be at the opening ceremony on Saturday to begin what is really the biggest 24-hour party to conclude a year of fundraising. The teams will have themes, and I cannot wait to see some of those.

The Bunbury event is the second-longest running relay in WA and has been the state's second biggest in terms of fundraising in the past four years. It has grown because of the hard work of the volunteer committee, a core group of about 30 teams and of course very generous support from the community.

Some of the proudest people at the 10th birthday celebrations will be former Cancer Council members Wendy Maslin and Margaret-Anne Canet-Senior, who were fierce in their commitment to establish the Relay for Life in Bunbury. In the second year, Wendy recruited team coordinator Jo Trench and catering coordinator Michael Bell, who are still with relay today. Kym Ashby kept momentum growing during her three years as chairperson. Her successor, Russell Donovan, has been involved for nine years now with the Summit Stars Team entered by Summit Realty Southwest. This team alone has raised $450,000 for relay by this weekend—a truly remarkable effort. All funds raised by the relay stays in WA to help regional areas.

The Cancer Council has a very proud history of community involvement and reducing the incidence and impact of cancer. Each year more than 2,000 new cases—that is why we need this—of cancer are diagnosed in regional areas of Western Australia. I want the Relay for Life to continue to grow and to capture the community's imagination and passion, and at the very end actually make a real difference to people's lives for many more years to come. I know that there has been some very innovative fundraising. There has been a masquerade wedding dress ball, and this weekend we are going to see blokes 'rocking their frocks' at the Relay for Life. Hands Oval will be the epicentre of the Relay for Life this weekend. I am looking forward to it and I know the community will support it, as they have done to date.