Find Your Pink Spirit

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“Help take steps to fight breast cancer by showing your pink spirit and participating in the annual Moon Walk fundraiser on Thursday 10 November.”

The Moon Walk fundraiser celebrates and honours families and friends affected by breast cancer, while also acknowledging the courage required of people affected both directly and indirectly by breast cancer. On Thursday 10 November, people are urged to find their pink spirit by decorating themselves in anything pink – clothes, towels, costumes, wigs, shoes, paint and of course, bras – to participate in the walk. All proceeds raised go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation …

To find out more about this year’s Moon Walk, FOCUS caught up with Laury Kilham, husband of the late Jenni Phillips, who founded the Moon Walk four years ago.

Who was the inspiration behind the Moon Walk?

The Moon Walk was the brainchild of my wife, Jenni Phillips, who passed away from breast cancer on February 8, 2011. Jenni was born in Forster and wanted to hold a fundraiser that was unique to the area and one which could involve friends in raising money for cancer research. Jen loved to go for a moonlit walk and as such, the inaugural Moon Walk was held on a full moon – hence that’s where the name came from.

How has the walk evolved?

Women from Jen’s swimming group, the Turtles, supported the inaugural Moon Walk, which was great fun and a success in its fundraising efforts. Jen died this year after a 15-year battle with breast cancer. Her courage and determined attitude towards life was, and still is, an inspiration for people, so we decided to continue the Moon Walk as an annual event. It’s also very much an occasion for people to be with and remember friends and family who have been touched by cancer. In keeping with the spirit of Jen, the walk is also about confirming one’s zest for living well and not dwelling on a half empty glass. It’s about being alive, authentic and celebrating friends.

Is it your dream to ultimately see the entire twin towns of Forster-Tuncurry awash in pink on the annual Moon Walk?

It would be wonderful to see the bridge awash with pink and the people of this town join together to support the value of all women and the meaning they bring into our lives.

Tell us about this year’s silent sponsor and what this means for participants?

We are extremely lucky to have an anonymous donor who is donating $10 for every walker. This year we aren’t asking anything of the walkers, other than to turn up and participate. The spirit of this donation is to give back to the participants who have personally donated money every year. This truly is a case of the more people who come along, the merrier!

What’s happening after the walk?

Immediately at the completion of the walk, all participants are invited back to Cape Hawke Surf Club for finger food. There will also be spectacular entertainment to enjoy, plus door prizes – all totally free. We have a special guest appearance by TinFish George – a finger-picking Southern Blues-style guitar player and singer/songwriter – who is performing a set of his Piedmont Blues repertoire on the night. TinFish recently returned from a series of performances in Europe and is generously donating his time to the event. As well, the local all-female chorus ensemble, the Turtlettes, will support Tinfish George, and the Lounge Lizards band will be playing, headed by Greg Wilcox. Cape Hawke Surf Club has generously provided a venue for the proceedings to take place, plus bar staff and drinks.

How can the community indulge their pink spirit?

There are already too many people in our area who have been touched by cancer. I liken cancer to dropping a rock in a pond – its ripples affect many. The walk is way of giving permission for the entire community to say we acknowledge a common bond and an opportunity to exchange stories and memories and feel hope with others.

Is this a bra walk for sisters, or are men encouraged to get involved too?

It’s sisters and brothers, husbands and lovers, mothers and daughters and fathers and sons. Everyone, young and old, is encouraged to participate.

Where to the proceeds raised go?

The Breast Research Foundation.

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