The smiles were as bright as the sun searing sun at Campbelltown Athletics Stadium on Saturday as hundreds of generous locals took to the track in the name of charity.
The annual 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur walkathon once again drew a passionate crowd of locals, who took time out of their day to raise money for cancer services in the Macarthur area.
There were familiar teams – Long Way to Galway, Smurfing the Dream, 24 Hour Freckle – and newcomers, walkers both young and old.
Their combined efforts helped raised a further $350,000 for the charity.
Chairman Fred Borg thanked everyone for their effort’s in his opening address and issued a challenge to keep fighting the good fight.
“The money we raise today we want to use for today’s people, we don’t want to leave it in the bank,” Cr Borg said.
“I cannot put into words the number of people who receive better treatment and care because of your generosity and our supporters.
“We will raise a lot more money in the next 24 Hour and with all that said I will issue to each and every one of you a challenge – where will the 24 Hour Fight be in the next 10 years?
“I’m asking you to remain dedicated to this event that has become a must-do item on the calendar.
“It is important that we all work together and lend a hand.
“Please continue to support this charity that has made such a difference to people with cancer.
“The 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer, as far as I’m concerned, is here to stay.”
Cr Borg asked the mayors of Campbelltown’s neighbouring government areas – Camden and Wollondilly – to “become a lot more involved” and reminded them “everyone is a volunteer and every dollar helps people in the Macarthur area”.
Campbelltown Hospital’s Professor Vincent Ho spoke after Cr Borg and thanked all in attendance for donating money to the cause.
He said their donations had purchased life-saving equipment for the hospital which allowed him to do his job even better.
“The hospital is immensely grateful for your contribution,” he said.
“A real vote of thanks from all of us at the hospital to all of you – thank you very much.”
The 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur has raised more than $3.4 million for cancer services in 11 years.