When Wauchope's 'man of the people' Ron 'Rocket' Turnbull was diagnosed with cancer 12 years ago, he didn't expect his association with the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute to continue for more than a decade after his treatment.
But continue it did, and this week Rocket and his mates from Hastings Auto Restorers Society handed over their 11th annual donation to the cancer team, an incredible $7000.
The donation is the result of the auto club's annual raffle and its popular Swap Meet held every June at Port Macquarie Racecourse.
The classic and vintage car enthusiasts' donation included a $500 contribution from Port Macquarie SES volunteers, who help Swap Meet visitors with parking.
Bunnings, IGA Wauchope, Settlement City, Port Macquarie Racecourse and long-time raffle ticket sellers Ron Turnbull, Peter Denham, Len Colbert and Norma Dwyer, as well as cancer unit staff, also ensured this year's donation was one of the club's biggest.
"The club's donation just wouldn't be possible if it weren't for a lot of good people," Rocket said.
"Everyone understands the importance of this fundraiser because everyone knows someone who has had cancer.
"It may be 12 years since I was a patient at the cancer unit, but I still remember the kindness shown by the MNCCI team, and I remember the financial hardships faced by some patients during their treatment.
"Every dollar raised by Hastings Auto Restorers goes to our local cancer unit so it can continue to provide support to local cancer patients. And it wouldn't happen without the support of the club, the raffle prize sponsors and the many good people who buy the raffle tickets."
Acting Nurse Unit Manager Katie Gooch said Mr Turnbull and the car club were generous with their time and energy on behalf of cancer patients.
"Community support makes a huge difference to our patients," Ms Gooch said.
"It helps us to purchase equipment and patient comfort items, and helps fund food and fuel vouchers for those who need a helping hand while they are receiving treatment.
"Rocket and Hastings Auto Restorers Society members are simply wonderful, and we remain sincerely grateful for their support each year."
The MNCCI is also the venue for Prostate Cancer Support Group meetings held on the second Thursday of the month between 5 and 6pm.
Meetings are an opportunity for members to support each other through friendship, conversations and the sharing of information. Partners are also welcome to attend.
Anyone wanting further information about the support group is encouraged to phone Mr Turnbull on 6585 2051.
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