Maria and the Pink Ladies hosted a local World Cancer day event at Zenia Boulevard on Saturday to mark the occasion. World Cancer Day takes place annually on 4th February and unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.

The local event attracted hundreds of well wishers and the warm sunny day encouraged people to join in the fun and help raise funds for Spanish anti-cancer charity the AECC. This was Maria and the Pink Ladies fifth World Cancer day event and it relied on members of the public making donations in return for an Iris plant or AECC merchandise such as keys rings, pens or unity bands. The iris plants that Zenia Boulevard provided proved very popular and helped to raise 1,784.16 euros and thanks goes to the shopping centre management team for the generous donation of the plants and for letting the Pink Ladies, yet again, take over the shopping centre for the afternoon.

Thanks also go to Tony Horrocks from Sunshine FM, who supervised the outside broadcast for the day and to Stevie Spit for comparing the e vent. The crowds were entertained on the day by local performers who gave their time and talents for free and these included: Rob Sweeney, David Williams and his Rod Stewart tribute, Suzy.G and Jaz, The 2 Ton Spice Girls tribute, Janelle Gaskell, Nikki.G, Kylie Burgazzi and saxophonist Stuart Sinclair, Just Ollie, Kevin Tyler and Luis Blacknight as Flashback and Totally Dance with their fantastic troop of 2-16 year old girls and boys.

Of course, as well as fundraising and having fun, there was a serious side to the event and lots of appointments were taken for subsidised cancer checks which form part of the AECC’s Early Detection Programme – and is always the most important part of these events. The Pink Ladies volunteers also answered people’s questions and queries and worked tirelessly all afternoon giving more of their time to the charity.

The next event hosted by Maria and the Pink Ladies in aid of the AECC will be held at the The Emerald Isle, La Florida, on Thursday 2nd of March. The event will run from 12noon to -5pm and as always will be a great fun day out.

Mireille Toddington