11 September 2017
The Qantaslink It's A Bloke Thing luncheon, run recently in Toowoomba, raised $1.53million for prostate cancer research, care and education with funds from the event distributed to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, ManUp! Australia and Toowoomba Hospital Foundation.
The annual star-studded lunch, which started seven years ago by a group of mates and their wives, has become one of the biggest daytime fundraising events in Australia.
Guests came from Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba all to raise money and awareness for a disease killing close to 3,300 Australian men every year.
Queensland has the highest incidence of prostate cancer in Australia and the second highest in the world according to statistics from Queensland Cancer Council.
Celebrity speakers TV personality Ray Martin, yachtsman John Bertrand, singer Harrison Craig, world champion boxer Jeff Horn (pictured) and Qantaslink CEO John Gissing were among the 540 business and community leaders at the lunch held at Wellcamp Airport.
The 2017 It's A Bloke Thing Foundation chair Gary Gardner said he was absolutely delighted with the results of this year's lunch.
"This truly is a community event and I want to thank our volunteers, sponsors and supporters for an outstanding fundraising effort. Since inception the Foundation has raised $5.6 million.
As this year's chairman, on behalf of the committee, we are humbled by the generosity of the community, who have rallied together to achieve this outstanding result, everyone should be very proud," says Mr Gardner.
It's little wonder the founding IABT Foundation committee member, John Wagner, himself a prostate cancer survivor, is concerned about blokes from the bush.
"The key is early detection and sadly men in rural communities have a much lower survival rate than those living in metropolitan areas," says Mr Wagner.
"We will ensure the funds raised from the lunch continue to support men and their families not only to help with awareness and early detection of this insidious disease but also to ensure families, particularly those from the bush, get the vital support they need.
Our goal is to break down the walls and get men talking about their health with their partners, families and friends. This is so important in the quest to create prostate awareness and save more lives," says Mr Wagner.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia thank the Qantaslink It’s A Bloke Thing Committee, the sponsors and the generous supporters for their continued support in reducing the impact of one of the most prominent men’s health issues in Australia.