The Yass Can Assist’s fundraising stall over the weekend was very successful according to the organisation’s Publicity Officer Annie Waterhouse.

It went really well and we were pleasantly surprised because there was such a lot on,” she said.

Otherwise known as the Cancer Assistance Network, an organisation that helps ease the burden of cancer for country families throughout NSW, Yass’ branch raises funds to help those living with cancer in the region.

The stall sold baked goods, homemade jams, pickles, chutneys, books, plants and various brick-a-brack of mostly new items like household knickknacks and bedspreads.

Annie said there were a lot of people out and about in town and they seemed to spread their money around to the different stalls open on the weekend.

Besides the Can Assist stall there was also the Yass Valley Anglican Church Monster Garage Sale and the Rotary Markets.

“We were very pleased because it could have been a bit slow with that many things on.”

Yet Annie said they nearly sold out of baked goods and their day raffle also sold well. It was drawn at the end of the day for three prizes of a slow cooker, pedestal fan and a rice cooker.

“I dropped the raffle prizes around to the other winners and they were very happy too,” she said.

Annie said Can Assist’s fundraising efforts were significantly affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns because they were unable to participate in their usual market barbecues and other regular fundraising activities.

They also had to cancel a few big events on their fundraising calendar due to restrictions.

But with the next Murrumbateman Village Markets set for Saturday, November 13 and the Binalong Markets for Sunday, November 14, Annie said things are starting to rev up for Can Assist.

“We’re certainly going to be busy during December,” she said. “This is usually our peak fundraising time and so we have to try and get to as many things as we possibly can in the lead up to Christmas.”

However, Annie said while they can reflect on all the things they were unable to do Can Assist has been able to meet all of their requests for help throughout the pandemic since March last year.

Annie said she wants to stress that people should not hold back if they want to contact Can Assist if they have cancer and need assistance with the associated costs.

“We do want them to contact us because that’s our main work there.”

Outside of financial aid Can Assist’s Patient Liaison Officers, Jean Frost and Janice Puckett, also offer emotional support to cancer sufferers and their families.

“Some people are in appalling situations,” Annie said. “Because they’ve lost their income, the carers often lost their income as well.”

“As a result of that you’ve got people who are emotionally fraught because not only are they dealing with the biggest battle of their lives to try and beat the cancer but they’ve got all these other things happening,” she said.

Such as providing for their families, caring for children, and many other needs.

“They rely very heavily on people like Jean and Janice for that sort of support.”

By Brianna O’Rourke

Photo: Cr Geoff Frost in front of sign for fundraising stall