What could your community do with $10,000?

The inaugural St George Community Awards will give Queenslanders who are working to improve their local communities their due.

Six winners will each receive a $2000 St George bank account, with the overall Community Group of the Year organisation receiving a $10,000 grant for their efforts.

If you know an individual or group that you believe should be acknowledged and rewarded, now’s the time to act — head to stgeorgecommunityawards.com.au and nominate them!

We’ll be profiling one nominee every week until the winners are announced. This week, the spotlight falls on Be Uplifted Inc, a registered breast cancer charity founded by Wendy Paterson, who is a breast cancer survivor.

“Wendy is the backbone to all events that are run through this charity,” says Jenna Rugers from Aspley, who nominated Be Uplifted Inc for the Community Group of the Year award and Wendy Paterson for the Outstanding Community Achiever Award. “Without her guidance and assistance these successful events would not come to fruition. Wendy is always the first one there and the last one to leave.”

Be Uplifted raises funds to offer support in practical and financial ways to women and their families affected by breast cancer. The charity is able to provide funds for unexpected bills, surgical costs or even just a cab charge for families to visit their loved ones in hospital.

The group’s aim is to assist women, men and their families following the diagnosis of and through their breast cancer journey. For example, Jenna says Be Uplifted visit the oncology wards at local hospitals to donate blankets, hampers or anything else the women and their families require.

The majority of funds come from donations or fundraising events, though they have been able to successfully apply for some small government grants.

Be Uplifted Inc holds a monthly Bunnings BBQ to pay the expenses of the group’s Aspley head office, which then allows all other proceeds to go directly to patients or families in need.

“Wendy has been able to support and lead the volunteers in this charity to make it work,” says Jenna. “She never asks for anything and yet gives so much, not only to the recipients of the charity, but also to the volunteers and any other person that she is in contact with.”

Be Uplifted Inc has a long way to go, but Jenna says the group is on the right path to meeting its goals. “The money, time and effort that Wendy has spent making sure that this charity is helping out community members is paying off one recipient at a time,” she says. “Although this is not yet a large charity, Wendy is still making waves in our community.”

Wendy’s friend Karen Dawson seconds the nomination. “I met Wendy at a charity function, where she spoke about her life with incredible passion,” Karen says.

“I was touched and deeply moved by her and inspired to join her wonderful cause. We became instant friends and I have come to love her dearly. Wendy has numerous and ongoing serious health problems… despite this, she pushes herself daily to comfort and benefit others. She is a real selfless giver, ready at a moment’s notice with little regard for her own health or problems. Her mind never seems to rest, always thinking up new schemes to make money for the never ending group of women of all ages who find their way to Be Uplifted.

“God knows she deserves it more than anyone I know.”

To find out more about Be Uplifted and their upcoming fundraising events, visit beuplifted.org.au.

To nominate a local group for a $10,000 grant, visit stgeorgecommunityawards.com.au today! Don’t delay — nominations close on Sunday 21 September.

What could your community do with $10,000?
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