The Bill Walsh Laboratory researchers at this year’s ball
Fight on the Beaches (FOTB) is a Northern Beaches fundraising group dedicated to finding a cure for cancer through funding Australia Researchers in the lab. Co-Chairperson, Michelle Heaton-Armstrong lost her beloved father at the age of 63 to oesophageal cancer. Heartbroken, she made a commitment to do something positive and help fight the disease.
The first ‘Christmas in July’ charity ball was held in 2014, with a goal of raising $500,000. After doubling their fundraising target the ladies behind the event decided they could still do more. Fast forward four years, the ball will celebrate 5 years of commitment to finding a cure and raising vital finds for cancer research.
This year, the ball was held at Miramare Gardens, Terrey Hills and saw over 700 guests and 100 volunteers come together to enjoy a night of live music, dining, entertainment and auction raffles. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Kelly Evans, Mum to Beau, Neve and Eli told Neve’s story of a long battle with Leukaemia including extensive treatment, a bone marrow transplant from her big Brother and a brief period of remissions. Neve passed away at the age of 4 in October 2014.
The organisers behind FOTB are passionate about seeing the money raised go back into cancer research .They have funded 7 researcher projects which has equated to 7 years of research. Sydney Vital researcher, Dr Sarah Hayes who is based at the Bill Walsh Laboratory, RNSH is funded by Fight On The Beaches and the money raised this year will go towards developing a new non-invasive breath test that could be useful in assisting in lung cancer diagnosis.
Prize donations are where much of the money is raised. This year, there were trips to Africa, restaurant vouchers, yacht experiences, whitegoods and so many more and as always, we were happy to dig deep.
This year the ladies exceeded expectations again and raised an outstanding $370 000 which will fund cancer research and local community based early detection and prevention programs. Since the first ball back in 2014, these Northern Beaches ladies have raised $1.5 million and are showing no signs of stopping.