It was Maureen Shield’s husband Brian who suggested they host an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea to raise funds for the Cancer Council.
Sadly Mr Shields had lost his own battle with cancer by the time the event came up, but his bereaved wife held it in his honour.
That was 16 years ago, and Mrs Shields has held a morning tea each year since, raising more than $22,000 for cancer services in the region.
‘’My husband and I saw an ad for the event over 16 years ago and said we should do it,’’ Mrs Shields said.
‘’He passed away after a battle with bowel cancer and when I came home from hospital I had the information from the Cancer Council about the event in the post.
‘’So I held that first event with eight of my friends and we cried around the table.’’
The sun was out on Monday for this year’s event at her Wollongong home, where more than 65 of her friends shared a cuppa for the cause.
‘’I think everyone has been touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly, and I always get a lot of support for this event,’’ Mrs Shields said.
Cancer Council NSW southern office spokesman Grant Plecas said while the official date for the event was May 25, people could host their own morning tea from now till the end of June.
Register at biggestmorningtea.com.au or call 1300 656 585 to receive a free morning tea host kit.