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The delicious Daffodil Day fundraiser helping families through cancer

With this year’s annual Cancer Society Daffodil Day appeal cancelled due to Covid-19, the charity is urging people to consider donating online.


That's why ANZ has teamed up with three of New Zealand’s leading technology entrepreneurs and investors, to commit to matching every $1 donated via its  Digital Daffodil with an extra $2, in the hope of raising $1.5 million for the Cancer Society.



Last August, with Auckland at alert Level 3, the Cancer Society was forced to call off the street appeal in Auckland for the first time in 30 years.


“Donating may look a bit different again this year, but cancer doesn’t stop, so we won’t either,” Cancer Society CEO Lucy Elwood says.


“The number of people affected by cancer has doubled since 1991 and is set to double again by 2040 – New Zealand is at or near the bottom of comparable countries for many cancer outcomes and our progress has been slower than others.


“We need to double down on our efforts on cancer.”


The street collections are the highest profile aspect of Daffodil Day, but there are also many dedicated groups and volunteers who raise funds for the Society in different ways.


Among them is ANZ Timaru Branch Manager Sarah Heywood, who helps raise funds as a street collector whenever she can, and also works with the team at her branch to organise an annual charity sale of the famous Fairlie Bakehouse’s incredible pies.


“I have a personal connection through my Dad – he was diagnosed with stage 4 tonsil and tongue cancer and went through nearly 100 rounds of chemo over five years,” Sarah says.


“Our family needed to know that we weren’t alone – and we certainly weren’t - the Cancer Society has counsellors, social workers, whatever is needed to help people through those journeys.



“There are thousands of families like ours, and that’s why it’s important that we fundraise to raise as much money as we can to support cancer research, and the people going through the journey.”



After his diagnosis he volunteered to drive other cancer patients to their treatments in the vehicle, even when he may have been more sick than some of his passengers.


It’s that personal experience with cancer that motivates Sarah and her team to round up orders for Fairlie Bakehouse’s pies.


Using flyers and word of mouth, over the last six years the team have sold thousands of the pies and have raised around $15,000 for the Cancer Society.


An important part of the effort comes from Fairlie Bakehouse owner and founder Franz Lieber.


He arrived in New Zealand in 1979 before opening the bakery twelve years ago, and said the local community had taken such good care of him that he always tries to give back.


“We support the Cancer Society – that was our first fundraiser, really, and it’s grown from there,” Franz says.


The pies are baked, wrapped and prepared for distribution, and the ANZ team makes sure they get to their hungry recipients across the region.


ANZ NZ CEO Antonia Watson says the bank is proud to have supported the Cancer Society for the past 31 years.


“The Cancer Society is the only organization that funds research into all types of cancers, and provides support to anyone affected by cancer, including families and friends, no matter what age they are or the type of cancer,” she says.


“Cancer impacts the lives of most New Zealanders, and ANZ New Zealand staff are no different – that’s why many of our staff support Daffodil Day so strongly with fundraising across the country.”


A portion of the money raised by fundraisers like Sarah’s team goes towards drivers to take cancer patients to appointments, as many people in the South Island live some distance from a hospital.


“This is exactly what Dad wanted - this is his legacy.”



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To help make up for a forecasted loss in Cancer Society’s donations due to Covid-19, ANZ has pledged to match public donations through its Digital Daffodil up to the value of $500,000.

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