Passionate about making a difference in our community

Passionate about making a difference in our community

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Over the last 14 years, the South Taranaki District Council’s Relay for Life Team ‘Pride of Purple Passion’ has raised over $50,000 for the Taranaki Cancer Society.

This has been achieved by hosting an annual Dinner and Dance featuring musician Shaun Preston.

This, coupled with other regular fundraising initiatives throughout the year (mufti days, bake sales, ladies evenings, art and craft sales), has meant that the team has reached Dream Team status (a name given to teams that raise over $5,000) for the last five years.

Team captain Michelle Commerer says that becoming a Dream Team is not about the ‘glory’ of being tagged as such – but that each member of the core team is passionate about the cause, being affected by Cancer in one way or another.

“It is a cause that we all have a personal interest in, one way or another. Cancer has touched so many lives, and we’re doing what we can help those affected in our community and to raise cancer awareness with students through the Taranaki Cancer Society,” says Michelle. “It’s important to note that the money raised in Taranaki, stays in Taranaki.”

Taranaki Cancer Society Centre Manager Meg Rodel says that over 55% of the teams now come from South Taranaki and they are committed to providing services in our district.

“There are a number of free services in Hawera: we rent an office every Wednesday at Te Ara Pae Trust for our Supportive Care Coordinator to connect with clients. In addition, we offer free oncology massage and counselling, and most recently have started a 16-week exercise programme for men who are cancer survivors, and are aiming to start a women’s group before the end of the year,” says Meg.

“Funds raised through Relay for Life have been used to purchase a new shuttle which ferries cancer patients and their carers to and from Palmerston North for treatment every week. None of this would be possible3 without the teams’ fundraising efforts. The Pride of Purple Passion team is a marvelous example of what can be achieved through teamwork and a can-do attitude. Their selfless motivation should serve as an encouragement to other teams.”

The next Relay for Life will be held on March 30 at the TET Stadium in Inglewood – visit for more information about the relay.


Shaun Preston Dinner and Dance, Friday 16 November, Hāwera Community Centre, tickets are $75 per person or book a table of 10 for $700, email to book. Tickets are limited so get in quick if you are interested!