For My Community

My Community Fundraiser

When it comes to my Community and helping in any way I can…I do so happily. I have always wanted to do something meaningful and worthwhile for my home town, and what better way to do that, with the one thing I know best and love doing….anything to do with Weddings.

This is my annual contribution. On the 15th January 2012, I again coordinated and put together the 2nd “Save the Date” Wedding Expo”, held in Cairns. This year’s charity fundraiser was to benefit our new Cairns Cancer Centre and would definitely Brighten their Day.  I just needed $10,000 to achieve my goal!

Why the Cancer Care Unit? I spent much time looking around for a local charity to support.  I vividly remember the feeling I got when Margie, the manager, shared with me her vision of what this charity event could do to benefit the Unit. Margie explained to me that patients receiving  lifesaving treatments for cancer could spend up to 6 hours hooked up to machines, and sitting in a hospital day bed. Often patients would be too unwell to read or talk to loved ones, let alone to any of the caring staff. She felt the clinical, mechanical look and feel of the unit was not an environment that could “lift patients’ spirits”. To explain, when a patient arrives for their treatment, they often arrive with uncertainty, grief, disbelief and sadness of what they are about to face. It is incredibly heartbreaking to say the least, and any way the staff could “lift a patients’ spirit”, they would happily do so by singing, dancing a jig, tell bad jokes, or just be there for them.

One way that Margie believed would benefit patients was by having 20 digitally printed hospital curtains hung in the Unit around each day bed, with magnificent landscape images so that a patient’s days would be brightened and the Unit would be lifted in a way that would make their time there a little less clinical.  I knew then and there what we were going to do!  I thought maybe the event could raise $5000 and have 10 curtains made – that was my mission. So the Brighten their Day fundraiser began in earnest.

In conjunction with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, and a few volunteers I started organising. The previous year we had 40 or so exhibitors – this year the aim was for over 90 and the fundraising would be via sponsorship, exhibitor fees, gold coin entry and wonderful raffles to be held on the day. These funds would then be used to make the digitally printed photographic curtains for the Cairns Cancer Care Unit.  Each curtain was to feature one of this regions wonderful images taken by local amateur and professional photographers.  The images would be on display at the Expo and attendees would have the opportunity to pick their favourites.

We knew these curtains were destined to add happiness, and a big dose of sunshine, to those receiving lifesaving treatments.  We were sure both the patients, staff, family and friends would benefit greatly by having these magnificent visual images to view, magnificent landscapes of our region taken by everyday people who have a passion for photography.

My personal fulfilment for the 300 hours I put into this event far exceeded my expectations of raising $5000. With the support of wonderful industry suppliers, the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, business associates and even my friend who was a major sponsor along with wonderful volunteers whom I cannot thank enough, Amanda, Ruthie, Sally and Sam from CBC Staff Selection, Deb from Brothers Leagues Club, Deb and Luby from By Design Wedding and Events, Caz, Cherie, Bronnie, Veronica from BluecLick Photography,  Vince from HDeVolution Video Productions, Danny from Millennium Entertainment, and of course this regions wonderful community from Cairns, Port Douglas and the Tablelands, the Save the Date Wedding Expo special fundraiser was underway and it was full steam ahead.

The day of the Expo arrived, Sunday the 15th January. With 4 hours sleep under my belt off I went, and I can say with pure honesty…what a wonderful day, the smile could not leave my face. The vibrant buzz throughout the venue, the suppliers who supported this charity event and generously donated for the raffles, the media support and not to forget, future couples who were about to tie the knot, brought it all together and the Expo went off without a hitch (maybe I had the odd 3 or 10 but that did not dampen anything). The vibe at the venue was electric, happy, upbeat and positive. We did it, and I was so proud of everyone’s effort. My vision of what this event was all about, was achieved…but even bigger than I expected.

The final tally along with raffles ticket sales, door entry fees, sponsorship and exhibitors raised $12500. which meant the entire unit could be brightened with magnificent digitally printed curtains.

I will keep My Community section up to date with the progress of what is happening but most importantly I want to say ‘thank you’ to one and all for their generosity and support for this special fundraiser.

If you would like to know who supported, sponsored and donated to this event please click here

Thank you all.

Warmest regards

Coordinator for the Save the Date Wedding Expo 2012

Joanne Male
Civil Marriage Celebrant
Mob # 0423 534416

FacebookSave the Date Wedding Expo Cairns – direct link to Facebook

please LIKE this event and feel free to leave comments, see you at next the expo!!!!!.


TO:  All media outlets
REFERENCE:    Brother’s Leagues Club Cairns cheque presentation to FNQ Hospital
DATE: 16th
February 2012, 9.30am
VENUE:   Brother’s Leagues Club, Manunda
Joanne Male – Event Coordinator
Irene Costa – Devine Bridal
Sally Mlikota – Director CBC Staff Selection
Debbie Maltby – Brother’s Leagues Representative
Paula Campion – Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation Representative

CONTACT:  Paula Campion
Fundraising Coordinator – Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation
Phone: 4226 6723        Email:


“Brighten Cancer Patient’s Day”
On Sunday 15th January the ‘Save the Date” wedding expo attracted over 700 people at
Brothers Leagues Club. Over 90 exhibitors displayed their exclusive products and services on the
day to raise funds for the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre Oncology Unit at Cairns Base

The event coordinator, local marriage celebrant Joanne Male, aimed to raise $10,000 to fund
photographic printing on 20 curtains for the Oncology Unit with the aim to brighten the day for
cancer patients receiving life-saving treatments.  Each curtain will feature one of a series of
photographs of our region and submitted  by local amateur and professional and
photographers. There were over 300 images submitted and selections are in progress.

Irene Costa of Devine Bridal, Sally Mlikota,  Manager of CBC Staff Selections, the Far North
Queensland Hospital Foundation and many businesses and individuals assisted Ms Male to
successfully achieve in excess of her target. With $12,522 raised from activities on the day, this
has well exceeded Ms Male’s expectations.  Ms Male commented “I am so grateful for the
overwhelming support and generosity of businesses to make this event such a success in every

Brother’s Function Manager, Debbie Maltby, will present a cheque this Friday at 9:30am to FNQ
Hospital Foundation’s Fundraising Coordinator, Paula Campion. Ms Campion was very
impressed with the overall efforts of so many  generous and community minded people, and in
particular Joanne Male who worked tirelessly to  make the event as successful as it was.

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