Cancer Council NSW mascot Dougal ready for Daffodil Day

With spring just around the corner, Parramatta will be in full bloom for a special cause this Friday.

Now in its 31st year, Daffodil Day is one of the largest fundraising events in the southern hemisphere.

Residents are urged to show support for someone affected by cancer by buying a fresh daffodil or Cancer Council merchandise at one of many Daffodil Day stalls across Parramatta.

More than 4500 volunteers will help out at 650 sites across NSW on Friday. They include Parramatta Mall, Parramatta Westfield, Stockland Merrylands, Parramatta and Granville train stations, Jessie Street Centre and Westmead Hospital.

The Octagon, QBE and St George Bank in Parramatta will also have stalls.

This is Caroline Raunjak’s fourth year as volunteer team leader at the Parramatta Mall stall in Centenary Square.

It’s one of many volunteer and advocacy roles she has with Cancer Council NSW.

“I lost my husband to oesophageal cancer six years ago,” she said. “For us, it was a complete shock. It’s my way of giving back so other families can benefit from the great fundraising and research the Cancer Council does.”

The Parramatta Mall stall will run from 8am until 4pm.

“It’s always a busy day, especially with the markets on,” Mrs Raunjak said.

“While we were setting up last year, we had a woman come up asking if she could buy some daffodils because she’d recently lost her niece to cancer. We hear stories like that all day long. But the day isn’t all sad and serious. It’s also a celebration.”

Pamela Wheeler has been a volunteer team leader since 1996 following her father’s death from bile-duct cancer on Daffodil Day the year before.  “Cancer affects so many lives, family members, colleagues and friends,” the Parramatta resident said.

Cancer Council NSW’s bear mascot Dougal is dressed up as a firefighter this year after Fire and Rescue NSW threw its support behind the cause. Firefighter bears will be sold at stall sites.

“Our firefighters do a great job and we’re really pleased to see they’ve warmly embraced our 2017 firefighter Dougal bears,” Cancer Council community engagement manager Crystal Huynh said.

Mrs Raunjak added:

“The Dougal bears are always among the best sellers, along with fresh daffodils.”

Last year, Cancer Council raised $2.1 million for cancer research, prevention programs and support services, including its information services centre at Westmead Hospital’s Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre.

Volunteer team leaders are still needed for the Granville train station and QBE Parramatta stalls.

  • Details: 1300 65 65 85 or daffodilday.com.au.