PROMINENT industry identity Duncan McPherson can sympathise with Rocky Balboa’s assessment of charity work.
After engaging in a brutal match with world wrestling champion, Thunder Lips, Balboa proclaimed “sometimes charity really hurts!”
While Balboa’s pain was physical, McPherson certainly understands the gruelling demands raising awareness and funds can incur – not that he is complaining!
In fact, McPherson refers to the exhausting schedule as “time well spent”.
Since the launch of this season’s Teal Pant Campaign a fortnight ago McPherson has been on a whirlwind tour, including a trip to New Zealand.
Originating in Victoria, the Teal Pants Campaign is the brainchild of recently-appointed Harness Racing Australia chairman Michael Taranto and McPherson in honour of McPherson’s wife, Lyn, who lost her battle to ovarian cancer in 2010.
Growing in stature to also include New South Wales, the Teal Pants ‘drive’ went national last season with the help of HRA.
This year New Zealanders has joined their Aussies counterparts as part of the Teal Pants Team.
As such, every reinswoman in the southern hemisphere is a crucial team member, with money raised via each win between February 1 and March 11, which doubles as Australian Reinswomen Championship night in Tasmania.
“I’ve been doing a fair bit of travelling and organising, but it is time well spent,” McPherson said. “It’s for a cause which is very close to my heart and worth the lack of sleep.
“The response in Australia and New Zealand has been fantastic and I can’t thank everybody involved enough.”
Since Queensland reinswoman Isobel Ross’ triumph on February 1 – in just the second race of the day – the teal pants squad have registered a fabulous 89 wins.
As such, $27,800 has been raised, with the tally not including individual donations and efforts.
For example, last weekend another Queenslander, Danni-elle McMullen, sold baked goods during the Marburg meeting, while her GoFundMe page has raised an additional $900.
“Like I said, the response in Australia and New Zealand has been fantastic,” McPherson said. “To say thank you just doesn’t seem enough, but to each person who has helped in anyway, I’m extremely grateful.
“You’re all helping make a huge difference as we look to improve the entire ordeal involved with ovarian cancer.
“Sadly, the mortality rate among women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is so high, it is a silent killer, so if we can assist in fundraising research to find an early detection device it would be a terrific result in improving the survival rate, which is minimal at this point.”