This is how you Christmas

A function room is bustling with smiling people sitting at tables dressed with festive table-settings.
The Kids’ Cancer Project Christmas fundraising luncheon raised $205,000 to help children with many different types of cancer.

The Kids’ Cancer Project held its second annual Christmas fundraising luncheon on Thursday 9 December 2021 and raised $205,000 to help children with many different types of cancer.

The charity welcomed its most valued sponsors and supporters and filled Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf. The sun sparkled over Sydney Harbour while guests enjoyed a gourmet three-course lunch with Soulganic providing musical entertainment.

In his opening remarks to the 370 guests present, Owen Finegan, the charity’s CEO posed a sobering thought:

The last eighteen months has taught us many things about isolation and hope, but it's important to realise that this is the plight of kids with cancer all the time...Community spirit is not only really important for those children, but also for the sustainability of The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Supporting partner of the event, WOTSO was delighted to have an opportunity to play a greater role in The Kids’ Cancer Project’s fundraising efforts on the day. The company has been involved with charity since 2015 as Jessie Glew, Joint Managing Director of WOTSO explains:

About six years ago, a group of thirty of us got together for a head-shave event to raise money for The Kids’ Cancer Project.

We ended up raising $50,000 and it was in that moment that I realised that thirty individuals can really make a difference - imagine what we can do today.

Guests generously gave to the cause through The Kids’ Cancer Project Bear Giving Tree (where guests could donate a teddy to a sick child in hospital), Swanky Socks x The Kids' Cancer Project collaboration, along with raffles, a business card draw, an online auction as well as luxury experiences that were hotly contested in a live auction.

In his role as event MC, Owen umpired a lively discussion between Casey Dellacqua, former No 1 Tennis Player and Dual Olympian; Joe Roff, former Wallaby; and Luke Ricketson, Rooster legend and Australian Kangaroo. The all-star panel shared some of their most fond memories of life as professional athletes.

In that moment that I realised that thirty individuals can really make a difference.

- Jessie Glew, Joint Managing Director, WOTSO

There was also a serious side to the day which was brought home by David Giffin (former Wallaby) who spoke about his son Joseph, now twenty, who was diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer, neuroblastoma, when he was just two years old.

David introduced guests to Joseph’s paediatric oncologist, Professor Glenn Marshall, a scientist with the Children’s Cancer Institute and recipient of funding from The Kids’ Cancer Project. His latest project is to help children diagnosed with sarcoma (bone cancer).

Read more: Detecting chemotherapy resistance and sequencing residual malignant tissues in sarcoma treatment

Funds raised are supporting Professor Marshall’s vital work as Owen explains: 

One in three children with soft tissue sarcoma die from their disease...Surgery, chemo, and occasionally, radiotherapy are the standard treatment approach, but there’s been minimal improvement in survival rates over the past few decades.

While most childhood sarcoma patients achieve clinical remission with a “one-size-fits-all” chemotherapy approach. Almost one third of these patients will relapse after achieving clinical remission.

Results from the work Professor Marshall is doing will build up evidence needed to introduce individualised precision medicine early into treatment, with the ultimate aim of avoiding relapse for these kids. 

“Our studies will also drive the development of new treatment strategies and future clinical trials for high-risk sarcoma,” says Professor Marshall.

The Kids’ Cancer Project thanks WOTSO, event volunteers from PWC and QBE who helped on the day along with Doltone House and all businesses that donated auction items.

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With thanks to the support of our partners we can continue to fund vital childhood cancer research. Contact our team today to see how we can work together.