Touches of blush, coral, salmon and magenta will be popping up in businesses and schools around Cessnock this month as the city takes part in the McGrath Foundation's Pink Up Your Town campaign.
Pink Up Your Town is in its third year as a national fundraising event, and comes to Cessnock for the first time thanks to a merry band of volunteers led by Stacy Jacobs.
Stacy, who is a student support officer at Cessnock High School, resides out of the area but saw a need for such a campaign in Cessnock due to "alarmingly high" statistics of late-stage breast cancer diagnosis.
A breast cancer survivor of five years, Stacy said Pink Up Your Town is a good way to raise awareness, hopefully assist with early intervention and raise some valuable funds for the McGrath Foundation.
"I actually don't live in Cessnock but I work here, and when I discovered the statistics that people are engaging far too late in treatment I knew this was the area to be involved with," Stacy said.
"The statistics for our town are terrible; people are being diagnosed far too late - which means their treatment options are limited.
"Ideally, we want to see both men and women in Cessnock to be diagnosed earlier and have higher chances at survival."
Fundraising from Pink Up Your Town goes directly to the McGrath Foundation to provide funding for McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia.
Funding is needed to close the current (national) gap of 120 nurses to ensure every person experiencing breast cancer has access to this invaluable service.
"The McGrath Foundation works closely with all state and territory health departments, as well as nominated area health services, to determine areas of need for additional McGrath Breast Care Nurses as well as support for existing local nurses' training and development," McGrath Foundation CEO Holly Masters said.
"Although there is not a McGrath Breast Care Nurse in Cessnock, people experiencing breast cancer and their families can reach out to McGrath Breast Care Nurses in Newcastle or Gateshead.
"The contact details for each of these nurses can be found through the McGrath Foundation website."
Read more: Think in pink this October
The local Pink Up Your Town committee comprises former students and current staff from Cessnock High School - people with a "community conscience, from a variety of walks of life", Stacy said.
They have organised a great variety of fundraising events too - from picnics to poker tournaments to wine tasting tours.
Local businesses have come on board, with Peden's Hotel, Burgerfiend and the Hunter Valley Gardens village among those that will be "pinking up" in October.
Several local schools will hold out-of-uniform days this month to support the cause.
The committee has also engaged with local GPs to participate by offering breast checks this month.
Stacy has acquired a Glenn McGrath-signed cricket ball that will be auctioned off to raise funds for Cessnock's campaign.
Stay tuned to 'Cessnock Pink Up Your Town' on Facebook for details of the auction and other fundraising events.
Anyone who would like a donation box at their business can contact Stacy via the Facebook page.
Donations can also be made online at mcgrathfoundation.com.au.
- Australian Community Media, publisher of the Advertiser, is a media partner of the McGrath Foundation.