Our Top 10 Highlights of 2017

 2017 5


And just like that 2017 is coming to a close. The team at the Cancer Society have been working extremely hard to improve our communities wellbeing by reducing the incidence and impact of cancer. We thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at some of our favourite moments, achievements and highlights from the year. 


10.  Dave Cull visited Daffodil House


Back in August, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull’s culinary skills were put to the test as he turned his hand to baking scones at the Cancer Society’s Daffodil House.

The house was filled with laughter and teasing as Mr Cull worked alongside Daffodil House manager Sandra Wilson and volunteer Lyn Cook to bake cheese scones for morning tea.

It was a wonderful opportunity to raise aware for Dunedin's Daffodil House, which provides accommodation for people with cancer who require treatment away from their home environment.

Daffodil House Scones have become a legendary occasion at the Cancer Society and for that reason has made it on our highlights list at Number 10!

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9. Fun at the CanShop Fashion Show


The CanShop Fashion Show was, for the second year running, invited as the main event for the Arrowtown Spring Flower Show in September.

The models had a lovely cat walk with a red carpet and daffodils. "There were many giggles and lots of fun was had!" said Julie.

What made this event a highlight was that the audience could purchase the clothes worn by the models and know that the all proceeds would go to support the work of the Cancer Society in the Otago and Southland community.

 CanShop fashion parade 2019

8. Cancer: Where we're at 


In November, The Cancer Society hosted Prof, Parry Guilford, one of NZ's outstanding cancer researchers, and Dr. Chris Jackson, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Cancer Society Medical Director to talk at a public lecture. Members of the public were provided with insight into their research and clinical experience in an open forum. Many who attended the evening, held in Queenstown, asked thought provoking questions and found it a valuable event.



7. Lloyd reached 1000th volunteer drive 


In August, we celebrated Lloyd McIntyre's 1000th volunteer drive. During the past 15 years, Mr McIntyre has covered 20,400km as a volunteer driver and has transported 299 cancer patients to and from Dunedin Hospital.

The 84-year-old is one of the Cancer Society's 40 Dunedin-based driving volunteers, who travelled similar distances while picking up clients and bringing them to the hospital for chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

The most rewarding thing for him about being a volunteer driver was "the people you meet''.

"It makes me realise how lucky I am,'' Mr McIntyre said to the Otago Daily Times.

Extract from Otago Daily Times : Read more


 Photo: GERARD O’BRIEN, Otago Daily times

Five more schools became SunSmart Schools


Congratulations to the following schools for becoming SunSmart — Arrowtown, Sacred Heart, St Bernadettes, Remarkables and Waitaki Valley.

This year, the Cancer Society Otago and Southland were delighted to partner with the Nichol’s Garden Group to grow the SunSmart Schools programme. With this partnership we hope to build greater momentum for the programme over the next three years. When schools become SunSmart they receive information resources including a UV Index Board with a moveable arrow, a gate sign and a Nichol’s tree that will provide shade in the future.

Sun Smart with Lochiel School3

The Cancer Society Balls

Dunedin, September | Invercargill, June

The 20th Annual Otago Polytechnic Cancer Society Spring Ball was held at Dunedin’s Town Hall where a record amount of just over $100,000 was raised. Over 400 people attended the night which was opened by a stunning local cello ensemble and followed by drinks, fine dining, live music, dancing and an exciting live auction where guests were encouraged to “bid outrageously”.

This year’s Cancer Society New World Gala Ball had a “Night in London” theme. About 350 well-attired people were welcomed by four Beefeaters in full costume as they arrived at the red-carpet event. The ball also raised a record of over $50,000 on the night with one of the auction prizes being a trip to London thanks to House of Travel which seemed only fitting!

Cancer Ball 2017 67  61 17 NWCSB0868

4. Otago Students Smash Relay for Life Record


Over 1,000 students participated in the Relay for Life Otago where they either walked or ran for 12 hours around the University of Otago campus. Collectively they raised over $100,000, far exceeding the last event, with donations coming in from friends, family and some very creative fundraising schemes. The relay continued through the night until 6am the following morning. This outstanding effort from the Otago students positioned the event in fourth place of our favourite 2017 moments!

Register for 2018: Click here

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3. Invercargill established a Smokefree CBD


A close third goes to Invercargill for establishing a smokefree CBD this year!

In November 2017, the Smokefree Areas policy was adopted. It covers the area of the city bounded by Dee, Deveron, Tay, and Spey streets.

This policy will provide Smokefree role modelling and reduce the uptake of smoking. It will also reduce visual cues for people trying to quit smoking, and support those who have already quit to avoid relapsing and to remain Smokefree. What a wonderful step in the right direction to Improving community wellbeing by reducing the incidence and impact of cancer! 


2. Volunteers receive Minister of Health Awards


Cancer Society Volunteer Drivers nationally received a special "Outstanding Achievement Award" from the Health Minister, Jonathan Coleman, at the Minister of Health Awards this year, for the vital service they provide.

We are extremely proud that your volunteer contribution has been recognised by Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health which why our volunteers have take out 2nd place of our 2017 highlights!


1. 60 Schools, 450 businesses
and 1,500 volunteers involved in Daffodil Day


Drum roll please.... for our favourite highlight of 2017 - the community involvement in Daffodil Day!  It was incredible to see over sixty Schools across Otago and Southland turned yellow in celebration of Daffodil Day last month and raise money by holding a coin trail, a mufti day or selling daffodil badges. 450 businesses and organisations bought daffodils prior to Daffodil Day.

The day raised over $350,000 that will be used to provide the Cancer Society’s services in Otago and Southland.  Robyn Flowers, Manager of Volunteering for the Society, was grateful for the work that so many volunteers did in the build-up to the day and on the day itself.  “Daffodil Day could not happen without people across Southland and Otago who volunteer their time, ideas and enthusiasm".


Arrowton primary 4


Do you agree with this list? What was your favourite Cancer Society highlight from 2017? Let us know!