The annual Macleay Valley Coast Diabetes Group's Dia-Bete It Party Fundraiser will be held at the St Paul's College Hall this Saturday night. This year the group celebrates its 10th year and they are so proud of what they have achieved over the past decade.
The local group has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and helped improve the lives of locals for years but the initial goal was much smaller.
After their third child was diagnosed with diabetes, Scott and Rachael Welsh along with Matt Brennan and Belinda Parkinson joined forces with the plan to create a Juvenile Diabetes Camp for local children.
"All Rach and I wanted to do was to host a camp so our three boys, Jack, Connor and Flynn, knew that they were not alone and in fact there was more people, like former NRL player Brett Stewart, who were managing the chronic disease," Macleay Valley Coast Diabetes Group president Mr Welsh said.
"We have hosted two local camps for juveniles managing diabetes, taken them to camps on the Gold Coast and in Manly. When we went to Manly, all the kids led the NRL team out onto the ground in what was known as Manly's diabetes awareness game, which was inspired by our group."
While the camps were a massive success, the Macleay Valley Coast Diabetes Group has gone on to achieve so much more over the years as they have positively impacted the lives of locals who suffer from the disease.
"We have put several diabetes pumps on kids valued at $10,000 each. We have put several kids on Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM'S) before they were available. Donated $10,000 to the DANII Foundation to take the fight to the Federal Government to make CGM's available to all," Mr Welsh said.
"We have had up to 30 adults on Libre Freestyle Sensors. Purchased medical alert jewellery for all juveniles managing diabetes.
"In conjunction with the Lower Macleay Magpies, we have held a charity rugby league game for the past eight years where in excess of $30,000 has been raised."
This Saturday's Charity Ball is expected to raise another large amount, with tickets already sold out and many raffle and auction prizes to be won on the night.
The guests, who are encouraged to wear casual and colourful attire, will be bidding off for terrific auction items such as; a David Warner signed one-day cap, Dressed Lamb, signed men's and women's Australian rugby 7's jerseys, a signed Wests Tigers NRL jersey, a Iron Jack Fire Pit, a ladies rose gold ring, a Kempsey Cup race day prize, accommodation packages and much more.
The money raised on the night will go towards juveniles managing diabetes and when possible, supporting adults managing diabetes.
Star guests who have attended the charity ball over the years include; Des Hasler and Brett Stewart (Manly Sea Eagles), David Peachey (Cronulla Sharks), Rod Kafer (Wallabies), Justin Melvey (Actor), Jenny Morris (Entertainer), David McDonald (Patron of MVC Diabetes), Sultan Linjari (World Leading Endocrynologist) and Elissa Renouf (Diabete-ezy).
The MVCDG wouldn't be the success it is today without its amazing committee members who have volunteered hundreds of hours and who have given so much of their lives to help raise funds and support the charity and its locals living with Type 1.
None of them do it for the praise or acknowledgement but without them this group definitely wouldn't be celebrating its 10th anniversary year.
"The success of any great charity group comes down to its volunteers and the work they put in. Thank you to all the current and past committee members," Mr Welsh said.
"The group also wouldn't have raised all the funds or helped as many locals as they have over the past decade without the overwhelming generosity and support of the businesses and community in the Macleay Valley and surrounding areas each year.
"The sponsors, the donations, the guests who attend each year and all those that are just able to purchase raffle tickets in our major raffle, you have all contributed to the wonderful success that the group has achieved and it is eternally grateful to you all."
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