Wedding extravaganza for a family hit by cancer

Generous gift: Leanne McKay, Kathleen Swinbourne, Donna Leak, Dina Dimaggio and Kaylene Kirkpatrick call for local families affected by cancer to be nominated for a $22,000 wedding.Picture: GREG ELLIS

Generous gift: Leanne McKay, Kathleen Swinbourne, Donna Leak, Dina Dimaggio and Kaylene Kirkpatrick call for local families affected by cancer to be nominated for a $22,000 wedding.Picture: GREG ELLIS

More than 30 Illawarra businesses have teamed up to provide a wedding extravaganza for a local family affected by cancer.

The idea was born when Donna Leak, of De'vine Wedding Events, heard a presentation at a recent Business in Heels networking event by Maralyn Young, of Casa Mia, and decided she wanted to make a difference.

Nominations are being called for families with a wedding on the radar.

Mrs Leak is a wedding events specialist and decided to use her networks to gain interest in preparing a wedding package.

The result is a wedding extravaganza at Panorama House with a three-course meal and drinks package for 50 guests.

"The wedding gift valued at over $22,000 is an amazing gift and reinforces the generosity of local businesses in the Illawarra," Mrs Leak said.

"I just came up with the idea but without everyone coming on board it would still be [merely] an idea. Within the first week I pretty much had the whole package.

"It was an amazing response thanks to Business in Heels and Monique Field. I put it on her Facebook page and it went ballistic.

"Nominations can come from individuals nominating themselves or family and friends wishing to nominate their friends or family members."

"I can't thank Panorama House enough," she said.

"Dina Dimaggio and her family have been fantastic. I could not have picked a nicer spot to have it. The couple who receives this gift are going to be very happy."

Ms Dimaggio, of Panorama House, said she did not hesitate.

"Donna's idea is brilliant," she said.

"If we can all come together as a team in Wollongong and help someone's dream come true that will be fantastic."

Mrs Leak said the latest to come on board was Illawarra Rolls Royce Limousine Hire.

Leanne McKay, of Grandma's Luscious Sweets & Treats, decided to do a lolly buffet because she had experienced the effects of cancer in her family and knew what it would mean to others.

Photographer Kathleen Swinbourne said she had friends fighting cancer and knew how much something like this would help lift people's spirits.

Kaylene Kirkpatrick, of Leading Edge Jewellers, was inspired by Mrs Leak's leadership.

"I think it a fantastic thing Donna is doing," she said.

"It has just been so good so many people have come on board."

Mrs Leak said nominations could be made online and the winner would be drawn on August 9. The next Business In Heels is on July 29.

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