Leukaemia Foundation new Wollongong office celebrated

Many special people gathered in Auburn Street last Friday for the official opening of the Leukaemia Foundation's new office next to shortlead.com.au.

Supporters joined Illawarra regional manager Nina Field and her team for the launch.

They included Greg Thurling who contacted Mrs Field in 2005 about starting an annual golf day following his own personal battle with chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Mr Thurling was motivated by what he observed during his treatment. He noticed many people in hospital had more than one fight on their hands.

Mr Thurling had income protection insurance but saw how many other patients were worried about how their families would cope without them working.

He promised himself that as soon as he was well enough, he would do something to help others diagnosed with blood-related diseases, and their families. He knew if something could be done to take pressure off families who were struggling financially, cancer patients could concentrate more on getting well.

Also present was Didi Kello who was inspired to organise the inaugural Light The Night event this year by her nephew Adem Crosby, who died in May after a 2½-year battle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

And champion lawn bowler John Green, 50, who raised $71,000 in a two-day charity walk for the Leukaemia Foundation from his bowling club of Taren Point to his former club Corrimal.

Award a good fit

Angela Saville, Nikki McCarthy-Hicks and Brooke Maynell were awarded the Educator of the Year title at the 2013 Australian Institute of Personal Trainers Announces Campus Excellence Awards on Friday night.

The award recognised their teaching excellence, exceptional student satisfaction rating and committed student support at the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers' Wollongong campus.

Their continuously strong student graduation rates and exceptionally high student employment rate in the Wollongong area were described as a testament to their dedication, knowledge and time they had invested in students.

Charity car wash

The Top Blokes Foundation is holding a charity car wash at the Fraternity Club tomorrow from 7am to 7pm.

Managing director Melissa Abu-Gazaleh said for only $25, or $20 for cars pre-registered lauren@topblokes.org.au, drivers could enjoy a free coffee while they got their car washed and in the process were helping at risk and disadvantaged youth.

"All funds raised will go towards our Junior Top Blokes Leadership Program, a school mentoring program run by young men for young men," she said.

"This program gives teenage boys skills and knowledge on how to take peer pressure and risk-taking, increase mental health, stand up against cyber bullying and sexting as well as build positive relationships in their lives."

Burp scientifically

The Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium is holding a series of holiday workshops between January 6 and 10.

It starts with a bubbles and burps workshop, followed by lasers and holograms, flowers and seeds, a construct-it challenge and a galaxies, stars and meteorites.

Book on 4286 5000.

Cupcakery decamps

After 17 years in Kembla Street, Culinarius Catering & Cupcakery is moving to bigger, better premises in the new year. Further information at culinarius.com.au and on 4228 1800.

Annual IRT party

More than 450 residents from 16 IRT communities around the Illawarra gathered at the Shellharbour Club last Friday for the annual IRT Resident Christmas Party.

The event was run with the help of 40 IRT staff volunteers and 11 buses.

Pop-up popular

The Azarak Experimental Kitchen has been a big success in 2013.

The pop-up restaurant offering an 11-course degustation menu paired with different wines has held 26 functions and served 238 different dishes to 548 guests.

Free festive dinner

The Denny Foundation is hosting a free, three-course Christmas dinner for 100 people who might otherwise be alone and go without on December 25.

NMTG Group director Brendan Bermingham said he would love to hear from other business people who may be interested in helping out.

Chemo chair gift

Illawarra Cancer Carers has, with the help of a generous community, been able to spend $56,000 on the purchase of 10 chemotherapy chairs for the Wollongong Cancer Centre, made a $20,000 donation to University of Wollongong for pancreatic cancer research, contributed to the refurbishment of a quiet room at the Palliative Care Port Kembla Hospital and helped with the acquisition of specialist patient transport chairs valued at more than $20,000.

Its volunteers have also looked after patients in hospital and at the Cancer Centre as well as driving patients to and from appointments.

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