New charity to support Yass Valley residents with a broad range of medical conditions

A new charity that will support people with a broad range of medical conditions in the Yass Valley has launched today.

Yass Valley SPIN (Supporting People in Need) Foundation has formed as a sub-branch of the Lions Club of Yass.

Ready, steady, go: Yass Valley SPIN (Supporting People in Need) Foundation's members and volunteers launch the charity at the Lions Club of Yass dinner on July 4. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Ready, steady, go: Yass Valley SPIN (Supporting People in Need) Foundation's members and volunteers launch the charity at the Lions Club of Yass dinner on July 4. Photo: Hannah Sparks

A number of the members are also members of the Yass Valley CanAssist Branch, but this foundation's funds won't cover cancer patients.

Instead, 100 per cent of its profits raised through events will help people with motor neuron disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, heart disease and other medical conditions.

The foundation's spokesperson and publicity officer Barry O'Mara explained why its members had decided to do something a bit different.

"During our time with that organisation (CanAssist), we were often queried by people as to whether we could offer assistance to others not suffering cancer," Mr O'Mara said.

"As this was not an option, it got some of us thinking that this was an issue in our community that should be addressed. And after some research, we found that there was a need for financial assistance to people suffering other medical conditions and illnesses, including in aged care.

"CanAssist is already set-up to best support local cancer patients.

"We would like to make a very special thank you to the Lions Club of Yass for making the foundation possible by becoming a sub-branch of the club," he said.

The charity already has 14 members and around 14 volunteers. It has also established an executive committee and general committee.

The executive committee includes president Kylie Baker, vice president Donna Luff, secretary Kim Barton, treasurer Yvonne O'Mara, assistant treasurer Karen Tanswell and liaison officer Stan Luff.

The general committee includes Renata Ryan, Cheryl Scorgie, Jenny Douglas, Wendy Curtis, Edwina Brown, Tracey Muscat, Leonie Making, Georgia Thomson, Debbie Ryan and Barry O'Mara.

It also has four major and seven associate sponsors.

"This means we can hit the ground running and put all our efforts straight into fundraising," Mr O'Mara said.

The foundation's first fundraising event will be a pyjama day on Friday, August 9. Money will be raised via a gold coin donation from businesses and members of the public who wear pyjamas on the day.

"All of the local schools and preschools have jumped on board for this event," Mr O'Mara said.

Following that, the foundation plans to hold events in villages throughout the Yass Valley to build awareness.

This will be kick-started with the 'Back to Bowning' weekend, a reunion of ex-residents and gathering of people all over the Yass Valley that will include a bush dance and climb of Bowning Hill.

"We would like to thank Bowning Hill owners Stuart and Frances Atkins for offering this event to the foundation this year," Mr O'Mara said.

The Bowning Hill walk has in the past been a fundraiser for CanAssist, but certainty of the event's future was unclear when Mr and Mrs Atkins put the property on the market.

However, they have now confirmed they will open the hill for the popular walk to the SPIN Foundation.

The charity will also be working towards recruiting medical professionals to determine its criteria and procedure to manage and distribute funds.

Yass Valley SPIN Foundation is happy to accept more members. Contact the charity via its Facebook page.