The G.I.F.T. is a group of local women who give back to the community by passionately fundraising for those who are living with cancer, a cause that touches many of us.

Photography by Ashley J Taylor

The G.I.F.T prides itself on supporting services for those living in Bendigo Health’s catchment area.  These dynamic women want the funds that they raise to be kept local and used to benefit everyone in the Loddon Mallee region.
The G.I.F.T. – Give, Inspire, Fundraise, Together!
Each member of The G.I.F.T, their loved ones or a friend, has needed to access the services provided by Bendigo Health. What better cause to fundraise for than one which will benefit the entire community.
Initially, The G.I.F.T focused their fundraising efforts on the Bendigo Hospital Cancer Centre, however they realised that cancer patients access many areas across the hospital, and a collective decision was made to broaden their net further.
In a generous move, The G.I.F.T has committed to raise $50k over a three-year period to benefit those in all departments of the Bendigo Hospital.
The organisation decided to raise funds for the New Bendigo Hospital Appeal and in particular, the Bendigo Health Foundation’s #GiveBack campaign, which aims to raise $4 million over a three-year period.
One hunderd per cent of money raised by The G.I.F.T will be contributed to the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment that current hospital funding does not allow for.  This equipment includes a second cath lab for cardiac care, an ophthalmic microscope for back of eye surgery and a pharmacy robotic system.
All members of The G.I.F.T are passionate about their cause and dedicated to giving back to the community, while ensuring there is always an element of fun in their fundraising, of course.
“The G.I.F.T run regular movie nights, golf days and even a glamorous Melbourne Cup function,” founding member Janine Cugura says. “Our events are created so that we can bring friends, family, and the whole community together in a fun way while raising funds that will be kept local.”
The group is planning a charity ball for 2018, and hopes it will bring plenty of sponsors, support and funds for the Bendigo Health Foundation. The other goal is to ensure an amazing night out.  These women are determined to exceed their committed $50,000 and invite the community to get behind them. It’s easy to get involved.  The public can take part in any of the regular events and the group is always happy to hear from any businesses that would like to get on board.
It’s easy to show your support for The G.I.F.T and be part of raising vital funds for the Bendigo Hospital.
“The G.I.F.T is all about fundraising and keeping it local,” Janine says. “Every bit helps and we invite the community to get behind such a great cause.”
For information about The G.I.F.T, contact Janine Cugura  on  0409 544 381.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegiftbendigo
For details on Bendigo Health Foundation and the New Bendigo Hospital Appeal
call 1300 243 000, visit
www.bendigohealthfoundation.org.au

ABOVE: The G.I.F.T members Andrea Gahan, Amanda Bailey, Vicki Fletcher, Justine Harrington, Janine Cugura, Elizabeth Murphy and Rachael Roessler.