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A Rare Weekend this Halloween

 
From the moment we walked into the Sydney Intercontinental on Friday evening until we pulled up stumps at Bradman Oval on Sunday evening, Rare Cancers Australia had a non-stop weekend of fun and fundraising.
 

“Sick or Treat” Halloween Ball

Entrance to the Ballroom was through a darkened passage that had been filled with bats, spiders, webs and other scary paraphernalia. From there guests emerged into the treat room where the Sydney Jazz Collective entertained and guests could indulge in various treats such as lollies, cupcakes and of course, some delightful champagne.
 
Face painting was also available and many guests embraced the Halloween spirit with costumes and/or face painting. 
 
At 7:20PM the doors to the Ballroom opened and guests were stunned to find themselves in a full Halloween themed room, pumpkins on tables and floating in the air. The striking mix of pumpkin orange and black table decorations set the scene for a fantastic night.
 
Tony Jones was MC for the night and belied his serious Q & A image with a witty and whimsical presence that both set the tone and controlled the night. Abby Dobson stopped the room with her beautiful performance of Clouds by Zac Sobiech and then later in the night with her stunning rendition of her mega hit “Even when I’m sleeping”. Abby graciously consented to an encore which brought the house down.
 
Unusually for this sort of event the speeches were a highlight with Kate Vines welcoming guests and drawing powerful parallels with the aims of Sick or Treat and the lessons learned from the Good Samaritan.
 
Senator Deb O’Neill spoke beautifully about the need for the community to care for each other and Professor David Thomas gave a wonderful summation of the challenges and possibilities that surround rare cancers and rare cancer patients. Richard Vines, wrapped up the formalities of the night with a big round of thanks to all who made the night possible. 
 
From 10 PM to Midnight guests danced and partied to music from across the decades and a wonderful night was had by all.
 
Importantly over $10,000 was raised on the night and we are delighted to report that including the ball, website and general donations, Sick or Treat has raised over $100,000 for patients in the first 3 weeks of its operation.
 
As always, our thanks to all who support both the Ball and the campaign.

Rare Cancers Annual Cricket Challenge

Bowral greeted us with blue skies and bright sunshine on Sunday, perfect cricket weather. Bradman Oval is one of the most beautiful cricket ovals in Australia and it certainly had its best face on for us on Sunday.
 
Teams arrived on time at 9 AM and players presented from Sydney, Canberra, Penrith, Emu Plains and Bowral.
 
Caps were distributed, teams assembled, rules explained and the teams hit the park at 9:15 for the match. After a hard fought match the Penrith team triumphed over the Canberra/Sydney team. The second match saw Emu Plains facing Bowral and whilst it initially looked as though Bowral would run away with the match, Emu Plains protected their wickets better and ran out victors.
 
Emu Plains then tackled Penrith in a very close encounter and triumphed in a close match.
 
The last match was played as a “mash up” of players from all teams with Masum and Zac Hossain providing a highlight when batting as a pair against the might of the Bowral bowlers. 
 
The last game finished in a tie and 40 very weary but happy players headed home for a rest and to prepare for next year.
 

Summary

Organisations like RCA can only achieve its goals with the support and help of the community. We thank all who took part in either event and we are inspired by the generosity and good spirit of all involved.
 
As we celebrate this triumph alongside our many supporters, we look ahead with hope and optimism. We are determined to find a better future for the tens and thousands of Australians diagnosed each year with rare or less common cancers. 
 
There is so much more to achieve. Our journey has only just begun….