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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Walking a new track: how the Bold Bandannas will relay their way

The Bold Bandannas will be travelling a new track this year as they relay their way for the Cancer Council’s annual Relay for Life fundraising event.

Donning their iconic bandana pants and colourful wigs this Saturday 20 March, the Bold Bandannas will be striding the bridge-to-bridge walk, starting from the National Library at 10.30am. The team is continuing to honour the memory of those affected by cancer, raising over $50,000 in the last 12 months for Cancer Council ACT.

Bold Bandannas’ team captain, Rosemary Drabsch has participated in every Relay for Life since the team’s inception in 2000. She said the team came together after she stood up at a staff meeting and said she wanted to help the Cancer Council.

“All of the people were early childhood educators, we all worked in pre-schools,” she said. “We’re all still very enthusiastic about doing what we do for the cause.”

Over the past 21 years of volunteering, the Bold Bandannas have raised approximately $460,000 for the Cancer Council. They often hold a stall at the Belconnen Markets where they sell a range of handmade jams, pickles, chutney, sugar reduced preserves and handsewn items including dolls clothes and children’s dress-up clothes.  

According to Ms Drabsch, all the proceeds from the stall go directly to Cancer Council ACT to be used for research, education programs and support services for those who have been affected by the disease.

“All the things we cook and sew, we don’t take any costs out, we donate directly,” she said.

“We are really proud of that and it’s very beneficial to the Cancer Council.”

The team plans to walk around the lake once before heading to the Yacht Club for lunch to celebrate the survivors and remember loved ones lost to cancer. As they walk, the Bold Bandannas will be accepting donations from people they meet along the way.

“This year, at least we’re able to walk as a team,” said Ms Drabsch.

“Last year I walked around the block. I think walking around the lake will be a good venue … It won’t have the atmosphere of the AIS (where the event is traditionally held over a 24-hour period) but at least I will be able to come home and sleep in my bed.

“I’m just hoping the people who are normally walking around the lake will recognise the fact that’s what we’re doing.”

Ms Drabsch said the main message she wanted to pass on is cancer affects everyone.

“We’ve lost two team members to cancer in the 21 years. We have at least four survivors and one person with cancer in the team,” she said.

“There’s not anyone who can say they haven’t been touched by cancer. Everyone has been touched in some way.”

Cancer Council ACT will have a presence at Lake Burley Griffin on Saturday 20 March from 10am for a special presentation to the Bold Bandannas. The team will officially open Relay Your Way 2021.

For more information or to donate, visit actcancer.org

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