The History of Manilla in the Pink

Pink Ribbon Month in Manilla. Image courtesy

Pink Ribbon Month in Manilla. Image by scottchan courtesy

Nine years ago, when Robyn, Belinda and Sarah from our council’s Manilla office hosted a Pink Ribbon breakfast, they had no idea how fundraising for Breast Cancer Research would take off in our little town.

The next year, they held it outdoors because it was a beautiful day. People responded amazingly, giving Robyn the idea to move it to her home, ‘Tandarra’, where husband Harry had set up a memorabilia museum. Morning tea became afternoon tea with lots of entertainments, music, raffles, charity auctions, stalls, exhibitions; and the whole thing became an institution.

Craig and Lucy at the grocery store became involved when their valued staff member, Jenny, was diagnosed with breast cancer. They decorated the shop, sold merchandise, held raffles and raised a massive amount for BCR.

Jenny helped me so much when I received my diagnosis. I will be forever grateful for her kindness and the honest answers she gave me while still having treatment herself. I am happy to say that she is well and working at the same store, although it changed hands when Craig and Lucy retired. It is, at this time, the only IGA store that decorates the shop, dresses staff in pink and raises money for cancer research. Maybe the rest will follow this shining example.

Other businesses in town got on board, and, for years, have spent this week in October decorated in pink. It is quite wonderful to go shopping and see, in almost every shop, staff dressed in pink shirts or aprons (men and women) and pink ribbons and mementos for sale on behalf of BCR.

Last year, the stakes were raised. A full month was dedicated to fundraising; the whole town going Pink for October. This year, we plan to do it again, only bigger and better.

Our Pink Ribbon afternoon tea, hosted by Robyn and Harry, will be held at ‘Tandarra’, Barraba Rd., Upper Manilla on 12th October, from 1pm. Entry $5. All money raised goes to BCR. I will be in my usual spot, selling raffle tickets. (Lots of prizes, drawn at 3pm.)

Of course, all this effort would be for nothing without the dedicated support of the Manilla citizens spending their time and hard-earned dollars, but Manilla is a town that punches far above its weight when it comes to giving. More than $30,000 dollars have been raised for BCR since that first morning tea and I am proud to belong to such a caring community.

Manilla in the Pink: the signature of a little town with a big, warm and very generous heart.