A big greek party for the ACRF

The special bond that exists between the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) and the country’s Greek community has once again come into play.

Following the organisation’s special appeal to the community during this year’s Greek Easter celebrations comes news of a very special dinner held in Adelaide recently.

More than $2500 was raised when Greek mother Mrs Helen Polymenas prepared a great “feast” for more than 120 people in aid of the ACRF.

A cook of great renown amongst her family and friends, Mrs Polymenas and her husband Christos, in their 60s and early 70s, have lost friends to cancer recently so they wanted to do something to support cancer research.

Proud daughter Maria Kambanaros said the lunch had been a “marathon feast.”

“Mum and I and a big team were on our feet for eight hours last Sunday at the Folk Centre in Adelaide preparing nibbles, main courses and lovely desserts,’’ she said.

“We had great support from the whole community because with Greeks it is one in, all in.”

“My Mum and dad have recently lost some close friends to cancer and so they wanted to contribute to the fight against it. People responded by attending our lunch with many making large personal donations.

Maria said her mother did not have one specialty dish.“Everything she cooks is just fantastic. She really throws herself into it.”

Earlier this year ACRF chief executive David Brettell heaped lavish praise on Australia’s Greeks for their long time support of the ACRF organisation.

“The Greek community are one of our most generous supporters and I take time out to specifically applaud their ongoing support,” he said at Greek Easter time early 2009.

“Given the fact that cancer affects so many Australians and there is a lot of people with Greek heritage in this country, this support is not that surprising.

“I urge our Greek friends to take time out to think of the many people in the community suffering from the devastating effects of cancer. As the incidence of cancer increases, we need more than ever to continue our investment in breakthrough cancer research.”

Brettell said the work of ACRF was making a difference to people’s lives not just in Australia but also around the world.

“Professor Ian Frazer’s cervical cancer vaccine, funded by the ACRF, is now available to girls and young women in Australia and in many other countries across the globe,” he said.

“Earlier this year, we were privileged to open the ACRF Centre for Therapeutic Target Discovery in Melbourne. Funded by a $5 million ACRF grant, this Centre is an Australian first – a fully collaborative integrated cancer research centre where doctors treating cancer patients will work closely with scientists researching the disease. It brings together a world-class team of people with enormous skill and experience to work together under one roof.”

“With the world in financial crisis, this is a difficult time for everybody, but cancer remains immune to economic downturn and its effects are no less devastating.”

Thank you so much to Mr Christos and Mrs Helen Polymenas, Maria and all your generous friends for your wonderful support.

Every dollar of every donation received by the ACRF goes to breakthrough cancer research that has the power to change the world.

Please help by making a donation online at acrf.com.au, or by phone on 1300 884 988.