The first-ever St George & Sutherland Medical Research Foundation (SSMRF) Red for Research campaign ran throughout June to raise awareness of the lifesaving medical research that takes place at St George and Sutherland hospitals.
Individuals, schools, businesses, healthcare workers, doctors, researchers and community groups were among those to “go red for research” throughout the month and the community did not disappoint, raising a total of $21,141.
Everyone from former triathlon world champion and Ironman Craig Alexander and former St George Illawarra Dragons player Jason Nightingale to leading researchers and local businesses went red for research.
SSMRF chief executive Leanne Dib said it was wonderful to see the community come together for such an important cause.
“Red for Research proved to be a perfect way for the community to stay connected and look after their physical and mental well-being, whilst working towards a common goal,” she said.
“But it has a very serious purpose – to raise much-needed funds to support new medical research projects that can develop better treatments, improve patient care and save lives, both locally and on a global scale”.
COVID-19 restrictions meant traditional fundraising activities were not possible this year. And even with many local businesses encouraging people to work from home, they still managed to go red for research.
Tynan Motors, McGrath real estate, Novotel Brighton-Le-Sands, St George Bank, Flow Espresso and Austbrokers SPT Insurance were among those who dug deep, while local clubs, which were also doing it tough due to the restrictions, also got involved.
Ramsgate RSL and Club Central Menai and Hurstville were among those who answered the call to ‘go red’, with the latter also donating $2500.
Ramsgate RSL’s marketing coordinator Diana Nasr said the important work of those in healthcare had not gone unnoticed during the pandemic.
Sutherland Hospital held a Red for Research day and put out collection boxes.
Its general manager Vicki Weeden said the foundation provided vital research funding to its doctors, researchers and allied health workers.
“Hospitals with a strong research culture provide researchers the opportunity to discover new treatments to ensure the best care is available to our patients,” she said.
St George Hospital general manager Paul Darcy said the foundation did a wonderful job “supporting research in our hospital, helping to improve the healthcare of our health district and the lives of patients and their families”.
Meanwhile, many supporters set individual challenges, including McGrath St George real estate agent Michael Flevaris.
He walked 300 kilometres and completed 3000 push-ups during June, and raised $3000 for the campaign.
”Red for Research is a great example of a community banding together to support research in our hospitals across many health areas and diseases that affect our community,” Ms Dib said.
“We’d like to thank our passionate participants and their donors, local businesses and the St George Hospital and Sutherland Hospital for showing incredible generosity and commitment during this challenging time.”
SSMRF will use the money to fund projects across a wide range of key health areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease.