2012 Donvale Neighbourhood Charity Auction

Following the success of the inaugural Donvale Charity auction held on the 27th of February 2010 at the home of Eugenia and George Tselepi, Eugenia vowed to make this an annual event and, true to her word, organised the 2012 event on February 26th. Once again it was an afternoon of good fellowship and laughter, with everybody having a great time despite the very hot weather. Fifty five people attended, including CIKA stalwarts Mary McGowan, Ellen Webb, and Sue and Ted Taplin.

CIKA is most grateful to Eugenia and her family for opening their lovely home for the event and raising $5,177 for CIKA, including $230 from the raffle of a beautiful quilt produced by “Friend of CIKA” Lois.

Pam Phillips and Mary McGowan enjoy the auction.

Once again, Michelle Lanigan was brilliant as the auctioneer of a range of goods provided for the occasion. The auction commenced at 2 p.m. and went non-stop until 5. Well done, Michelle, you did a fantastic job as did members of the Tselepi family who acted as cashiers, bankers and furniture removalists.

CIKA Vice Presiden, Ellen Webb addressed participants to explain the importance of the work that CIKA supports. Here is a transcript of what she had to say.

Earlier this month, my family gathered around the table for my son Brian’s 18th birthday. The candles were burning on the cake but neither my husband nor I could find a way to start signing Happy Birthday or to say the appropriate words. You see, Brian was not there, because he died of cancer shortly after his third birthday. So we looked at each other, took a deep breath, blew out the candles, and somehow ate a piece of cake with our three other children, one of whom is here with me today, my daughter Madeline.

We hope that somewhere, somehow, Brian knows how very important he has been to our family. Even though he was only with us for a very short time, he brought so much to us when he was here, and all these years after, by giving us a way to connect with so many other people, who have also been touched by cancer. We have been strengthened by the support of those who help CIKA, and found new faith and energy at how good people are, and the lengths they will go to help us in our efforts to find a cure for cancer. Now I will tell you about how we are working to find that cure. 

CIKA has supported research into solid tumours for over 30 years, and will continue to do so, until a cure is found that enables all children to recover from cancer, without any long term side effects. Since CIKA started survival rates have increased from 30 to 80%. Research takes a long time. Sometimes projects don’t get the results we hope for, but the learning is incredibly important useful in identifying what isn’t the answer, and allows the doctors and researchers to be more specific in what they try next time. Even once a cure is identified, it takes many years to be fully tested, and available to patients, as it must be tested to make sure it is safe, and won’t cause unnecessary side effects. We have funded the development of a vaccine, and over the last few years, children at RCH have been treated with this vaccine, with encouraging results. This trial has now finished, and the data will be analysed and submitted into medical journals, so that other researchers around the work can learn from what we have done, and use this to refine their own studies. 

On Friday, I caught up with Dr Paul Monagle, Head of the Children’s Centre, to discuss the new research that CIKA will be funding. It will be done under the joint auspices of the Children’s Cancer Centre, the RCH Foundation, the Murdoch Institute, and from advice from an independent panel of cancer experts. By working together they will be able frame new projects, funded by the money that you give so generously, to fund research that might otherwise not get done, and just might lead to that breakthrough cure in the future.