Thursday, August 23, 2007

GO Maara Lunch & Auction - Result

“We are the champions my friends
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions, we are the champions
No time for losers
Cause we are the champions of the world”

I’m not the biggest Queen fan but in my view this excerpt from one of their songs captures the resolve to fight cancer that was rife at the GO Maara lunch on Sunday. Maara was given a clear message by her friends, old and new, that she would not be fronting the cancer battle alone. This was great comfort to her and of course the kids and me.

Many people who could not make the event represented their support through providing auction items, bids, money and heartfelt messages of encouragement. Thank you to absent friends.

In his unique way, Bill Mathews conducted a full afternoon program of laughter and entertainment that set the scene for what turned out to be a memorable occasion. Watching Bill masterfully work the audience spoke volumes to me about his ability to build a successful company like GO and out of that, create a team of people who now enjoy valuable friendships with each other.

Wine flowed, delectable food was neatly consumed and catch up conversations were abuzz all over the restaurant. We rocked to the sounds of Freddie Mercury impersonator Steve and delighted in watching people squirm as he invaded their “space”. Thank you Ramona McCambridge for returning the microphone to Freddie so that he could continue his act.

Big thanks to Mike Geary who assembled a very impressive register of auction items. Obviously Mike’s “Tony Soprano” influencing strategies worked a treat with suppliers. This list was further enhanced by offers from Thanee Chatsinchai, Lynley Mitchell, Emma Haworth and Sarah Hunter. Sorry team you probably didn’t want your names mentioned but at the end of the day, I know people, who know people who run this blog, so…too bad!

Bill and Mike did a fabulous job finding new homes for all the auction packages. Would you buy a used car from these individuals? Perhaps that’s a note to self. Anyway, they made sure it was a win / win situation for all parties.

Thank you. Last but not least Noelann Davies drove a robust campaign to organize and sell tickets for the beauty basket raffle. How appropriate that the raffle was won by the Cake Maker. We could not have scripted a better result. Noelann raised $1000 from the raffle alone. Fantastic!

As for how much was raised in total… may find this hard to believe because Maara and I found it hard to believe…….. $15,000. This was well above expectation and has pushed us so close to the finishing line. JUST TOO INCREDIBLE for words.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

GO Maara Auction Sunday 19 August 2007

Bidding is open to everyone!
Let your friends and family know they are welcome to bid.
Perfect for a gift to your parents, family members or friends.
Start bidding now!!

If you’re not attending the luncheon but would like to bid for any of these packages you are invited to email your bid and contact details to no later than 1.00pm on Sunday 19/08/07.

At the conclusion of the auction Bill or Junior will contact you as soon as possible to let you know if your bid has been successful.

All the proceeds will be donated to Maara’s Herceptin Fund.

We hope to add other items to this list in the next few days. Please keep watching.

Thank you for your support.

1) The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa- 5 nights share twin / double accommodation in a Beachfront Suite, inclusive of daily tropical breakfast, one exotic Black Pearl,a half hour 'His ' and 'Hers ' massage , a 'His & Hers ' pareau and a chilled bottle of Trinty Hill white wine... valid 01 Sept - 15 Dec 07 and 08 Jan - 31 May 08.. Valued at $2399 NZD

2 ) Blue Lagoon Cruise - a 3 day / 2 night Club Cruise ( share twin / double ) inclusive of all meals .. valid 01 Oct 07 - 30 Jun 08.. Valued at $2200 NZD

3) Mana Island Resort - 3 nights share twin / double accommodation inclusive of daily breakfast. Valid 01 Nov 07 - 20 Dec 08 (excludes school holidays). Valued at $1100 NZD

4) Le Lagon Resort Vanuatu - 4 nights share twin / double accommodation including daily breakfast, return airport transfers, a Port Vila Tour, Glass Bottom Boat Tour & Snorkel Safari. Valid 01 Oct - 15 Dec 07 and 15 Jan - 31 Mar 08. Valued at $1350 NZD

5) Breakas Beach Club Vanuatu - 4 nights share twin / double accommodation. Valid15 Oct - 15 Dec 07 and 15 Jan - 31 Mar 08. Valued at $1199

6) Aggie Grey's Beach Lagoon Resort & Spa - 5 nights inclusive of daily full breakfast. Valid 15 Oct - 15 Dec 07 and 15 Jan - 31 Mar 08. Valued at $1699

7) Captain Cook Cruises - 3 day / 2 night Sailing Safari inclusive of all meals. Valid 01 Oct 07 - 30 Jun 08. Valued at $1070 NZD

8) Sonaisali Island Resort - 5 nights share twin / double accommodation in a beachfront hotel room inclusive of daily American buffet breakfast. Valid 01 Nov - 23 Dec 07 and 11 Jan - 30 Jun 08 (excluding Easter & School Holidays). Valued at $1799

9) Golf Terraces,Fiji - 5 nights share twin / double accommodation in a 1 bedroom apartment .. Valid 01 Oct - 24 Dec 07 and 20 Jan - 31 May 08. Valued at $1499

10) Thanee’s Thai Dinner – Thanee Chatsinchai is opening his house and kitchen to cook an authentic 3 course Thai dinner for 6 people. He’s a superb cook and a fabulous host. You will have a truly wonderful dinner experience.

11) Fafa Island Resort, TONGA - 5 nights share twin / double accommodation ( superior fale ) ..Valued at $1569 Valid for travel commenced & completed 01 Oct 07 - 31 Mar 08.

12) Coconuts Beach Club ( SAMOA ) - 5 nights share twin / double accommodation in a Garden suite or Treehouse Room ..valid 01 Oct 07 - 31 Mar 08..Valued at $ 1459

13) A brand new, still in the packet, Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition mobile phone. A slick looking piece of technology with all the features To take a good look at this phone check out the link,8764,96422,00.html
RRP $1799.

14) Take a scenic flight in a De Havilland Chipmunk (seats 1) or a Piper Cherokee (seats 3) for approx 20 -30 minutes. If you choose the Piper Cherokee, two of your friends or family can share the experience with you. Flights depart from Tauranga Airport for spectacular views over the Bay or from Ardmore for a panoramic view of Auckland, your choice. Travel costs to either airport is not included as part of this package. Please note the pilot will need at least 24 hours notice if the winner intends to invite two passengers for the Piper Cherokee option.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

GO Maara Lunch Raffle

GO Maara Lunch Raffle
A fabulous basket of ladies cosmetics and beauty products valued at over $1000 will be raffled at the lunch.

Tickets cost $5 each or buy three for $10.
Purchase a tickets by emailing or buy one at the luncheon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Maara - & IMPORTANT news

It’s Friday 10 August 2007and Maara turns 42 years old.

Today she underwent her second course of the Government funded chemotherapy plus Herceptin combo. Despite the four hour stay at the Oncology Ward, the day went okay. I know Maara feels great that she’s two steps closer to the end of the treatment programme but it also means that they’re moving closer to the private funded Herceptin courses. They are due one more Government funded Herceptin course ..... and this is where I want to explain about the new financial target that Junior & Maara face.

Throughout the initial diagnosis, operation and treatment both the specialist and the oncologists talked about the cost of the year long Herceptin treatment. Estimates were given at the time of between $65,000 - $75,000. Last week the oncologist sent through the final quote for the 15 non-funded treatments (she needs 18 treatments in total only 3 are funded by the government). What wasn’t made clear at the time was the “extra” costs of having this treatment performed privately. Maara will have to go every three weeks to have the Herceptin administered and here is a breakdown of what the costs are....

Herceptin (15 cycles)
Cycles repeated at 3 week intervals for 1 year
15 cycles remaining to complete 1 year of treatment

Cost for cycles 4 - 18
Consultation $ 120.00
Herceptin $ 4830.25
Herceptin administration $600.00
GST $ 693.78 (This is a goods & services tax paid to the government)
Total $ 6244.03 (this is paid every three weeks for 1 year)

Total cost (to complete 1 year of treatment) $93,660.45
NB: These costs do not include any additional radiological or other investigations.

The stress this financial pressure places on families already hit with the traumatic news that a loved one has a life threatening cancer, is unfathomable. For those of you who know me you will appreciate the battle I went through to convince them to allow me to create this blog. This should give you some idea of my challenge to share this latest news with the world.

Junior & Maara are very proud people. To have their private lives exposed to the world and then step back to let people help isn’t exactly a natural thing for them to do!! I get that. For me to be able to take the financial pressure off an already incredibly stressful situation, is a practical and very tangible way that I could help. I truly believe that if Maara can concentrate on her treatment and getting well without the added worry of what needs to be either sold or borrowed to fund her treatment... that would help in her fight against this terrible disease. As for Junior I still have to endure his (sometimes daily) bouts of “uncomfortableness” about letting people help him. They have both been able to draw a huge amount of strength from the outpouring of love & support .

So I bring news that the goalposts have moved and my new target to be reached is $93,000. $93k is a huge number but fundraising so far has put us in a great position.

From here we intend to continue the campaign. It means revisiting some of the events we sidelined previously and continuing those we have already planned. We’re confident we will reach or come very close to the new figure.

Before I go Maara is sporting a new hairdo, she looks wonderful. Junior and the family love her new look and think that she looks absolutely fabulous.

That’s it for now but thank you to everyone for your ongoing support. If you would like any further info or have ideas on fundraising please email me at

The Cake Maker

Thursday, August 9, 2007

GO Maara Lunch and Party Fundraiser

On a cold, smoky August afternoon in chic Ponsonby the incandescent orange flame of Troy Restaurant’s sentinel pierces the winter haze. Signalling the start of the GO Maara Lunch Fundraiser.

The irresistible odours of Middle Eastern cuisine patiently wait to creep down the steep stairs of Troy to invisibly but warmly greet the arrival of GO Staff past and present.

Your host Bill Mathews waits to guide you through an afternoon filled with fun and entertainment. “Freddie” Mercury will be on hand to remind you why you still listen to Queen cds and risk body parts to squeeze into those tight fitting outfits. Of course no afternoon is complete at Troy without the rhythmic belly dancer mesmerizing the crowd before callously choosing her “dancing” prey from the uncoordinated, unsuspecting males present.

Let’s not forget, that with a loud chorus of encouragement we can expect Bill to perform his show-stopping, remixed, digitally re-mastered and slightly slurred “Wolverton Mountain” rendition. That’s always such a special moment.

We look forward to seeing you there. It will be a fabulous party and a wonderful show of support for Maara and her family.

Our target is still $5,000 and we are confident it will be reached but need your support to achieve this.

“I wont be a rock star. I will be a legend”- Freddie Mercury (the real one)

WHEN: Sunday 19 August 2007, 2pm – 8pm

WHERE: Troy Restaurant (upstairs)161 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

COST: $95pp
(Payment on the day by cash / credit card OR cheque payable to Troy Restaurant)

Includes a 3-course lunch, live music and the usual embarrassing feature items.

BYO Wine, cash bar

Email bookings to with a contact phone number or;
For further enquiries please phone Bill on 021 459 560.

Have a look at the names of people who have told us they are coming. We will keep this list updated.

Bridget GRACE
Christine PARKER
Gwynyth CARR
Kathryn O'DWYER
Lancette HERON
Marina NOLA
Merrill HOLST
Nikolette TOTH
Noelann DAVIES
Patrick BONAR
Rozelle WILSON
Samantha FOWLER
Stephen DAVIES
Suzanne RAMM

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Maara’s Movie Fundraiser - LAST CALL FOR TICKETS!!!!!! There are only a handful of tickets left.... don't miss out!!!

Tomorrow is your last chance to purchase (and pick-up) tickets.

Come along enjoy the movie & SUPPORT MAARA'S HERCEPTIN FUND :o)

As part of the fundraising effort, Maara’s team of supporters have organised a special screening of the blockbuster movie “The Bourne Ultimatum” (R16) at the SKYCITY Theatre, to be held on Thursday 9 August 2007. Admission is $20pp.

This screening is extra special because it’s not due for public release until late August and all the proceeds from the ticket sales will go directly to help fund the Herceptin treatment for Maara.

It will be an enjoyable evening starting with nibbles and a cash bar at 6.15 pm with the movie screening at 7 pm sharp.

A word of caution, at the movie if you find that your seat is lumpy and a bit uncomfortable there is a strong chance you just sat on the goodie bag we left on your seat. Of course a lumpy and uncomfortable seat followed by a scream means that seat is already occupied.

If you are interested in attending the movie evening here’s all the important details you need to know;

The Bourne Ultimatum (R16)

SKYCITY Theatre on Thursday 9 August 2007

Nibbles and a cash bar will be available from 6.15 pm. The movie starts at 7 pm sharp.

Admission $20 (includes a bag of goodies to chew on during the movie)

All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to Maara’s Herceptin Treatment.

Limited tickets are available. CASH ONLY please.

To purchase tickets please contact Katie Heenan