To celebrate Red Ball Melbourne's 25th anniversary, this month we are highlighting the important work of longstanding Fight Cancer Foundation volunteer and employee Kerry Johns. Kerry is an integral part of Red Ball Melbourne’s Volunteer Committee and has been involved with the planning and execution of Red Ball Melbourne since its inception in 1992.
How long have you been involved with Fight Cancer Foundation?
I have been involved with Fight Cancer Foundation for 25 years.
How did you become involved?
I became involved initially as a volunteer when I worked with Fay Duncan at an Accounting office. Fay recruited all of the staff to set up one of the first volunteer fundraising branches for the then Bone Marrow Donor Institute (BMDI).
At that time there was not an Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and we were all keen to help make a difference. When the BMDI grew, staff were required and both Fay and I were recruited. One of the first big fundraising ideas was to hold a Charity Ball, and thus the Red Ball was born.
What do you do?
Over the years, I have fulfilled a number of roles on the Red Ball Committee. I have acted as Red Ball Chairman for five years, Volunteer Manager, Event Manager and I remain a committee member on the Red Ball Melbourne Volunteer Committee. The Committee meet throughout the year and work on all different aspects of planning for Red Ball Melbourne including theme, guests, auction items and budgets. This event has grown into one of Fight Cancer Foundation's major funding streams, and also helps to promote their life-saving work.
I have worked on the night of the event every year, until this year, which was Red Ball Melbourne's 25th anniversary. This year I was a guest and enjoyed the spectacular show. Though I did find myself going “back of house” to the volunteer hub just to see what was happening!
It was a fantastic night and I am very proud of my involvement.
Why do you choose to volunteer your time with Fight Cancer Foundation?
I am enormously proud of the achievements of Fight Cancer Foundation in providing support through their Accommodation Centres, hope through their involvement in Research, and a second chance at life through the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and the BMDI Cord Blood Bank.
Volunteering has given me the enormous pleasure of working with many truly remarkable people, many who are life-long friends.