Bunbury man Ben Andrew is eager to take up the mantle of organising one of the region’s most cherished fundraising events.
Mr Andrew has taken over as chairperson for the Cancer Council’s Relay for Life from Lara Hebbend.
Mr Andrew’s involvement in the event began 10 years ago, having first conducted security duties.
“I used to love the idea, while doing that role, and then – three years ago – I was the president of my local [South Bunbury] Rotary Club and I got us involved and ever since then we have been committed to supporting the logistics, set-up and pack down of the event,” he said.
Mr Andrew moved up to serve as co-chair for 2017’s Relay for Life.
He said he was looking forward to bringing new ideas to the table.
“Lara Hebbend has been doing it for two years as chair and has been involved for 10 years, and she made the position vacant,” he said.
“I’m an assistant governor in Rotary at the moment, so I have connections with Rotary, businesses and the business community and so I am trying to bring all of those networks together.”
Mr Andrew said the committee has been working hard to increase sponsorship and networks.
The Relay for Life group has already locked-down two sound stages and set up a partnership with Camp Quality, in charge of catering for next year’s event.
The committee has also begun discussions with Choose Respect and Scitech.
“We want to grow the event, we had 53 teams registered last year and we’ve got 31 teams already registered at the moment,” he said.
The group has begun a “mythbusting” promotional campaign to get more people interested.
The group has also set up a “Game of Throne” drive, with the idea to “flush away cancer this holiday season”.
Organisers have already raised $15,000 ahead of next year’s run.
Mr Andrew said the initiative greatly supported the Cancer Council’s work in the community.
“We really want people to get involved and get involved early,” he said.
“Relay is not just the weekend of the 3rd and 4th, it’s 12 months of making a difference in the community.”
The 2017 Relay for Life Bunbury raised more than $149,000 for the Cancer Council.
The annual event raises funds for the organisation’s research, prevention and support services initiatives.
Head to the Relay for Life Bunbury Southwest Facebook page to follow their progress.