The inaugural If We All Had Wings fundraising dinner at Drury Lane on Friday 1 July has been hailed a success with 110 people attending the event and $18,000 raised so far for local families facing financial hardship while undergoing cancer treatment.

Funds will be distributed to local families in need via the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute which provides hundreds of cancer treatments every month.

Mid North Coast Cancer Institute Social Worker Nicole Edwards said the Institute was incredibly grateful for the work of the If We All Had Wings fundraising committee and the support from the local community.

“These funds will make a real difference in the lives of patients undergoing cancer treatment who face additional stress due to financial hardship,” Ms Edwards said.

“The bills don’t stop during treatment, which is why the centre established a Special Purpose Trust – for families who struggle to pay some of their household expenses. The Trust accepted about 160 applications last financial year.

“Community generosity to support the Trust ensures help is available with those day-to-day expenses such as fuel, electricity, telephone or rates for those in need.”

Skye Petho, who established If We All Had Wings with friends Necia Waghorn and Sue Jogever, said the funds raised would be a welcome boost to the fund, with cash and gift vouchers to help families put food on the table.

“The support from local businesses and people within the community has been overwhelming. Wings are flying proudly all over town and our first event was a sell-out. There is a constant flow of people coming to take their photo in front of the blue wall and wings, and the story is being shared all over social media,” Ms Petho said.

“Donations continue to come in everyday in the form of financial contributions and people are still buying our little wings at Elements of Design in Wauchope and Arthouse Industries in Port Macquarie. The Hastings Co-op has generously donated food vouchers for families too.”

Planning is now underway for the next event which will involve a new public art piece and an exciting fundraising event. The group hopes to host several arts-based fundraising events every year.

“Our vision for If We All Had Wings is a creative collection of artworks and events that bring people together in support of this really important cause. We’re hoping to provide a positive platform for fundraising that also helps build connections in our local community,” Ms Petho said.

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