Mater Foundation Fundraiser

Raising money for the Adult Oncology Ward at Mater Hospital

“A Little Comfort”

Sitting for my First Dan Black Belt gave me the opportunity to get involved in some charity work. As a average family we try to do what we can donating to local charities, supporting St Vincents by recycling clothes, ect. but nothing that has been so close to my heart as this.

My family and I have a wonderful friend, we were absolutely devastated to be told that she had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, for such a vibrant, beautiful and healthy woman to have been afflicted with such a terrible disease was beyond reason. This brave person went through excruciating surgery’s and many weeks of convalescing at home with only very limited family and friends for support, all the while still running a household, surgery was only the start of her long term road to recovery, she spent the next six months spending long days in the Mater Hospital receiving chemotherapy treatment.

We still wish her well, and even though she won’t benefit from this Fundraiser, my hope is that by providing some funds through the Mater Foundations fundraising, patients just like our friend might just enjoy ” A Little Comfort”. I put together a proposal and submitted it to Mr Macarthur for his approval, With a 3 pronged approach I planned to be able to raise with the help of the club around $1500.

The first element started off the Fundraiser in June 2010 i was selling cans of soft drinks at all the classes I trained at this would run right to the end of the year, 3 people that supported me at every class was Mr Mc Allister, Mr James Thai, and Mr Michael Hong, thanks guys for your support. The next element was to set up donation tins, supplied to all instructors that would be taken to every class where the instructors would ask for any loose change to be donated to the cause. The instructors did a fantastic job of dragging these cans of change around and giving them a rattle to remind everyone, Thanks to all of you for your help with the very generous donations.

The third and final element was something I really wanted to incorporate and have something to do with our art “Taekwondo”, I have Mr Munn to thank for being instrumental in not only coming up with the kick-a-thon idea but also for enthusiastically running the event on sunday the 18th of september, also shouting out instructions with military style direction, spurring us on to aim for as many kicks as we could possibly muster.

We structured the amount of kicks to suit the experience of the participant, yellow belts aimed for 200 kicks, blue belts 400, Red belts 800, and Black Belts were aiming for 1000 kicks, everyone dug deep and put in the
effort, it was extremely tiring and really took all we had to complete the allotted kicks. Over 50 students took part in not only the physical aspect of the kick-a-thon but also gained sponsorship for their efforts. Once the previous belts had finished their kicks they cheered and clapped us home.

It was a very inspirational and humbling night. I was surprised to also learn that one of our students had raised $500 just by putting the cause out there and asking people to dig deep, thank you Mrs Choy, you are a true champion. The 18th of December marked the night we would present the final monies collected and for me to find out what the total amount we all raised. Mr Robert Needham, the fundraising manager for Mater Foundation was in attendance and said a few words of thanks on behalf of the foundation and the patients, he also gave us an insight into some idea of the kind of day a patient would have when they came to have chemotherapy treatment at the adult oncology ward.

Mr Macarthur asked me to make the presentation, I was a bit nervous standing in front of all of my peers speaking about something that was so personal, but we were all friends so I think it went OK, I was also nervous because in about half an hour I was going to grade for my first Dan black belt. Mr Macarthur handed me the cheque it was made out to the Mater Foundation for a grand sum of $2000.00, I was stoked.

Mr Robert Needham told us that with our donation they would be purchasing DVD Players to view inspirational DVDs / MP3 players to listen to uplifting music and hints and tips on how to live well, as well as some Nintendo DS’s for the young at heart, just to put a bit of boredom behind them, as an average visit can take up to eight hours of waiting around, and lets face it there’s only so many crosswords you can do in this amount of time. The whole process of fundraising was a truly humbling experience I hope the patients of the Adult Oncology ward at The Mater Hospital are able to enjoy just “a little comfort” Thank you to all that bought cans of drinks, donated their spare change and some larger donations, and a very big thank you to everyone that participated in every aspect of the Kick-a-thon, you have all made a very big difference in the life of people that are really suffering.

Thank You
Adam Williams