Meeting place at Mambray Creek raises cash to help breast-cancer patients

The first sign that something big was happening at Mambray Creek was a flickering light atop a fence post.

Then a giant “pink lady”, fabricated from steel by Cheesman’s, came into view followed by the hum of a generator and a floodlight over a parking area at the Trapper Bar.

Nearer the homestead and around the bonfire on the Saturday night were 130 people bidding frantically on an array of auction items.

The result – more than $10,000 raised for the Port Pirie hospital’s work in treating women with breast cancer.

The Trapper Bar, a local meeting place at Sarah Wiltshire and Barrie Cotton’s small farm, was licensed to trade for the night with revellers digging deep to raise money for a low-level laser to treat both lymphodaema, a side-effect of breast-cancer surgery, and scar tissue after surgery. The idea for the fundraising event originated with about eight Mambray Creek, Baroota and Port Germein residents who picked up the cause of the Cancer Council March Charge earlier this year.

They stomped up to 150 kilometres each on the rocky ground of the district in walkathons under the banner of Living Next-door to Alice, a tribute to friend and neighbour Alice Ngatamariki as she continues her breast-cancer journey. 

The team raised more than $2000 in this campaign so the total now available to the hospital is at least $12,000.

Sarah said her group was looking to McGrath breast-care nurse Ros Mayfield and her team to come up with suggestions for the allocation of the money over and above the cost of the low-level laser.

“We wanted to top up the original effort and we had a feeling we might have covered if fairly easily at the Trapper Bar event,” Sarah said.

“I would like to mention sponsors including TJ’s Pirie Gourmet Meats, Baker’s Delight, Woolworths at Port Pirie and Port Augusta, the Pastoral Hotel at Port Augusta and S.J. Cheesman engineering who provided the ‘pink ladies’ and touched them up with paint on the day as a lovely gesture.

“We had a really strong response from both large and small businesses to our appeal with great support from the community of Port Augusta

“We had a very good crowd at the event and welcomed caravans, tents and swags so visitors could stay overnight because our message was all about safe driving.

“We are overwhelmed by the support that was shown to the cause and by the contribution of the Mambray Creek and Baroota community. Everyone pitched in for a successful event.”

Auctioneer on the night was Mr Cotton, who added a theatrical touch to the proceedings. He sold items such as a trip to Kangaroo Island, holiday in the outback and Crows and Power signed-footballs.

Unusually, one auction item was worm castings, a world-first offering for use in gardens.