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Poetic Start To Relay For Life

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Relay For Life patron Carl Rackemann with guest speaker, celebrated Queensland poet Rupert McCall

May 5, 2017

Last year’s South Burnett Relay For Life raised a grand total of $184,000 … about $6.30 for every man, woman and child in the region.

In contrast, Toowoomba – which had the most relay participants – raised just $1.30 per person.

The surprising statistics were shared by Cancer Council of Queensland representative Jillian Huth at Thursday morning’s Mayor’s Breakfast to launch the 2017 South Burnett Relay For Life campaign.

The breakfast attracted about 80 diners to the Nanango Cultural Centre.

Guest speaker was Queensland poet and raconteur Rupert McCall who recited his famous “Q150″ poem which lists 150 Queensland icons, his patriotic “Green and Gold Malaria”, and “Ninety Years Ago”, a tribute to Gallipoli.

Mayor Keith Campbell praised Rupert as a “great ambassador for our country Australia”.

After Rupert’s presentation, last year’s “Face of Relay” Allen Bassett officially handed over the reins to this year’s “Face”, John Bjelke-Petersen, who has been involved in fund-raising for the Cancer Council for many years.

The Face of Relay is an ambassadorial role filled by someone who has, or had, cancer.  In John’s case, this was a melanoma which was successfully removed.

Carl Rackemann, the organiser of the annual Dinner With The Captains fundraiser, was sashed at the breakfast as the Patron for Relay For Life.

He said more than $1 million had now been raised by Relay For Life in the South Burnett.

  • Donations for Relay For Life can also be made online

Last year's Face of Relay Allen Bassett, right, sashed the 2017 Face Of Relay John Bjelke-Petersen

South Burnett mayor Keith Campbell with Cancer Council of Queensland representative Jillian Huth, from Toowoomba

Carl Rackemann received his 2017 Patron's sash from Jillian Huth

2016 Face of Relay Allen Bassett with Jason Ford, from TAFE Qld South West

Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff with Bruce Webb, from Nanango

Darrin Kefford, from Kingaroy Joinery, with 2017 Face of Relay John Bjelke-Petersen

The foyer of the Nanango Cultural Centre was filled for the Mayor's Breakfast

* * *

Dinner With The Captains

The guest sports stars for the 2017 Dinner With The Captains were also announced at the Mayor’s Breakfast.

Dinner organiser Carl Rackemann said the event was being sponsored again by Stanwell and Downer and would be held at Kingaroy Town Hall on July 22.

  • Tickets are available by contacting CROW-FM on (07) 4168-0700.

The three captains for this year’s dinner are:

  • Joyce Lester, OAM – Joyce was selected for the Australian Softball team in 1977 and became captain in 1985, a role she held until after the team’s medal-winning effort at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. She has played professionally in Japan and also coached in both Australia and Japan. She has been inducted into the World Softball Hall Of Fame.
  • Petero Civoniceva – Petero is a Queensland rugby league legend, having played 33 games for the Maroons, 45 for Australia plus more than 200 club games for the Broncos and three seasons with the Penrith Panthers. However, Petero qualifies for the Captains Dinner because of his role as captain of the Fijian national team.
  • Andrew Slack – The third captain is a rugby union great who also has a special connection to cancer, after losing his young son to the disease. Andrew retired last year after a career as a TV sports commentator, but before that he played 87 games for Australia, including 39 as captain. Between 1975 and 1987 he represented Queensland on 133 occasions, setting a record that stood for almost 20 years.

FLASHBACK: Petero Civoniceva, right, with Cherbourg Council CEO Warren Collins ... Petero took part in the inaugural Reconciliation Fun Run from Murgon to Cherbourg in 2014


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