ONE of the city's biggest fundraising events for the Cancer Council has been postponed until next year in a major blow to fundraising for the charity.
The Stars of Bathurst dance spectacular last year raised just under $60,000 and had been scheduled to return this month.
But Cancer Council community relations co-ordinator Katherine Bodiczky said it was just one of the COVID-19 cancellations and postponements that had contributed to a 30 per cent drop in the charity's annual revenue.
"As well as stopping all face-to-face fundraising we've temporarily closed all retail stalls," Ms Bodiczky said.
"These decisions, although necessary, will see us record a significant drop in income this financial year."
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Ms Bodiczky said it was still planned for Bathurst's Relay For Life to go ahead on November 7 and 8, however, that is also dependant on the restrictions in place at that time.
"If all is going well we will go ahead as planned but, given that times are so uncertain at this stage, we are just waiting and seeing," she said.
Bree Kelly, who is organising the relay, said while they were hoping to get all participants together for a physical event in November, the committee was also looking at innovative ways to bring Relay for Life to the community if this couldn't be the case.
"Live-streaming key parts of the event for participants to engage in their own way is an option that is being explored, learning from online Relays that have happened over the last couple of weeks in NSW at Corowa, Rutherglen, Sutherland Shire and The Hills District," she said.
Ms Bodiczky said fundraisers in the Central West they had been relatively lucky.
"We haven't had to abandon our events, just postpone them until next year," she said.
"We have been creative in coming up with new campaigns to assist with getting us through this period such as Hope at Home which was a campaign run in April which raised $16,000.
"We also have launched 'Bathurst on a Plate' which is an amazing local initiative directly supporting Cancer Council NSW."
Ms Bodiczky said the annual Biggest Morning Tea - which would have been held last Thursday, May 28 - would look different this year as a virtual event but she still encouraged as many people as possible to host a get-together.
"We can't get together the way we usually would but we can still connect with our communities over a cuppa and a cake by going virtual," she said.
"The Cancer Council NSW is encouraging supporters to put the kettle on and reconnect by hosting a virtual morning tea from the comfort of your their home, via video chat.
"The new virtual initiative has been launched to enable the Bathurst community to continue to raise vital funds for people impacted by cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic."
To register a Biggest Morning Tea go to biggestmorningtea.com.au/tea-time.
"We have lots of fun tips and tricks for virtual morning teas such as omelette flipping competition and bake-offs," she said.
"Hosting a virtual Australia's Biggest Morning Tea event is not only a great way to raise funds for those in need but is also a great opportunity to stay connected with those you may not have seen for a while, during times of social distancing and self-isolation."
In the midst of the pandemic, another worrying trend for the Cancer Council was data indicating fewer people were presenting to the doctor with symptoms.
"There has been a considerable impact on health services during this pandemic, and the emerging data suggests that we are likely to see significantly more deaths from cancer in NSW as an indirect result of coronavirus than from the virus itself," Ms Bodiczky said.
"We are pivoting our research program to include a new focus on coronavirus to study and analyse the impacts of the virus on cancer prevention, detection and care, and to work with governments on the response.
"This vital work will help ensure that cancer deaths are minimised as our communities transition from emergency response to recovery."
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