By Eden Hynninen
Camp4Cancer – a charity raising funds for cancer research – has handed over a record-breaking $60,000 cheque to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre last month.
The donation makes Camp4Cancer the largest community contributor at the centre, with four consecutive years of support.
Camp4Cancer founder Ben Roarty, of Wallan, uses Mark Baker’s Darraweit Guim property for the camp.
Mr Roarty said he was proud to able to fulfil his mother’s legacy and contribute to the community.
“I lost both of my parents to cancer over the past decade, but I know that they would be proud of the work we’ve done,” he said.
“My mum worked in the community at places like the Salvation Army and taught me a lot about having strong morals and compassion for others – I feel lucky to be able to do this.”
Known for his achievements as a former professional rugby league player, Mr Roarty has used his public profile as a platform to help others.
He regularly MCs charity events, teaches self-defence classes at schools and is a well-known figure in the Wallan community.
“This will be the fifth year for Camp4Cancer where we hold a weekend camping trip with live bands, food stalls, camp fires and raffles and auctions to raise money,” he said.
“We have so many amazing volunteers, close to 40 I think who help raise money. Mark Baker generously donates his 28 acre property in Darraweit Guim every year for the event.
“Every year it keeps getting bigger and bigger. We’ve raised over $100,000 so far, but our committee has a goal of reaching $100,000 this year – I really hope that we will be able to get there.”
Mr Roarty said there was a special moment with his friend’s daughter at the event that he would always remember.
“Twelve-year-old Makayla read out the amount we’d raised and it epitomised everything that I had done at Camp4Cancer,” he said.
“To actually have a childhood cancer survivor on stage with the committee was a humbling experience. Makayla has been given a second chance at life amazingly.
“Watching her beautiful smile while running around being chased by her sister Abby is truly a miracle, this is exactly why we want to raise money for Peter Mac.”