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BEAUMARIS MOTOR YACHT CLUB,
COMMODORE ROSS POPPLEWELL

Beaumaris Motor Yacht Club (BMYS)

Why we chose to host a Big Aussie Barbie

Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron (BMYS) occupies an absolutely stunning position on the eastern shore of Port Phillip, Melbourne. The club caters for around 650 members and their families, most of whom are actively involved in recreational trailerable power boating.

When BMYS Commodore Ross Popplewell received a flyer from PCFA to support the Big Aussie Barbie, Ross reflected on his own close personal group of mates. Of the seven, mostly in their late sixties, who regularly get together for lunch, two have had treatment for prostate cancer in the last 12 months and another has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

"With over 600 mostly male members, it has become all too common to hear that 'so and so' has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, or worse 'so and so' just died from prostate cancer."

A proposal to host an event in support of the Big Aussie Barbie was quickly put before the clubs’ Board of Directors. BMYS proposed an event aimed beyond the clubs membership and their families to the wider bayside community including the thousands of recreational cyclists that ride along Beach Road every weekend – right past the clubs front entrance. The Board unanimously endorsed the BMYS Big Aussie Barbie Breakfast-Brunch to be held in September.

Interestingly, Commodore Popplewell’s brother Gary called him 48 hours after the event was sanctioned by the club's board, to say that he had just been diagnosed with low grade prostate cancer. Regular medicals picked it up and because of early diagnosis and treatment Gary is likely to see a full cure.

Our fundraising ideas

To support the event, BMYS approached business contacts both within and beyond the club regarding the provision of raffle prizes and was surprised how keen people were to get involved and support the fight against prostate cancer. The list of donors includes the renowned Lobster Cave Restaurant in Beaumaris with a donation of a dinner for 10 as well as Mercury Marine who donated an inflatable boat, and numerous other donors who provided valuable raffle and silent auction prizes.

Immediately following the clubs initial notice to members, one BMYS member kicked off the online donations via our fundraising page https://bigaussiebarbie2016.everydayhero.com/au/BMYS with a personal donation of $1000. Within a short space of time, online donations swelled to over $2000.

Our big day

"The day of the BMYS Big Aussie Barbie Breakfast-Brunch arrived all too quickly, but with plenty of support from the organizing committee and a good number of club members to assist, we had a very successful morning that was enjoyed by all. Given the short three weeks we had to organise and publicise the event, the $7000 we raised to aid the fight against prostate cancer was a very satisfying result indeed. Importantly, we learned a lot that will help us achieve an even better result next year."