Shaza’s Night In – Women’s Cancer Research

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Sharon Munro hosts Shaza’s Night in, to support women’s cancer research and prevention. It’s an opportunity for all women to get together for a common cause, while having fun in the process.




I was born on the Coffs Coast and moved away when I was 15, returning 11 years ago.

I love living here; I have wonderful friends and my family are here. I have three adult children; one lives overseas in Bali, and I have a married son in Tamworth and a daughter in Brisbane. I also work in the local community.

What exactly is Shaza’s Night In – when and where will it be held, and what will happen on the night?

For me, it’s an opportunity for all women to get together for a common cause, which is to raise awareness of cancer and to raise money for the Cancer Council.

The money that is raised at Girls’ Night In goes towards research into all women’s cancers.

The Girls’ Night In this year is going to be held at the Coffs Ex Services Club (C.ex) on Friday 19 October.

I don’t want to give too much away about the event: let me just say to all those ladies who are going to attend, come dressed in bright colours, with some pink of course, and be ready to have fun and be entertained. There will be auctions, music, entertainment and prizes – and some tasty food and a drink or two.

This is not the first time you’ve organised this type of event. Why were you originally inspired to hold a girls’ night in?

The girls’ night in is one of the many fundraising events the Cancer Council has during the year. This event raises money for the Cancer Council to continue the research into all women’s cancers. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a vaccine to minimise the risk, or a test that could help detect ovarian cancer sooner? Fundraising is very important, so the valuable research projects funded by the Cancer Council can continue. Awareness of cancer is also a very important message I like to share. Women should know their own body and look for changes, particularly in their breasts, and if unsure – see their doctor.

How much success have your previous girls’ nights in achieved?

This will be the fourth fundraising event I will have had for the Cancer Council girls’ night in. The first event was a small group of 25 colleagues and friends who gathered at my house; we all brought food and an item/utensil we no longer needed to auction. Together with raffles and the entry fee and auction, we raised $1,014, and it was such a great, fun night.

For the 2010 girls’ night in, I decided I wanted 50 women. I approached a local hotel, who offered the use of one of hotel rooms to use for the event. Of course, as it happens in life, fate stepped in, and in May 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After two major surgeries and a minor surgery and during my six months of chemotherapy, together with the help of friends and a lovely lady named Alice and my daughter Tamika, we organised the most fantastic night, where 180 women joined us in our fundraising efforts and we raised over $12,000 for the Cancer Council.

Due to my health, the event in 2011 was much smaller. Through raffles, donations, sponsorship, and cookies I sold at work, we managed to raise over $2,500.

Who are some of the special guests you’re expecting on the night?

Just let me say there will be some amazing local women joining us with incredible stories of strength and a ‘can do’ attitude to share with everyone.

So ladies of the Coffs Coast, you will just have to come along on the 19th and find out more!

Why is it so important to you to raise money for cancer research, and how would you encourage others to become involved in similar fundraising efforts?

I would like to encourage all women on the Coffs Coast to host a girls’ night in’, as it doesn’t matter if you raise $10, $100 or a $1,000 – every dollar counts. Get the girls together for an afternoon tea, and ladies can bring a plate and make a donation. Have a movie night, hire a DVD – the girls who attend can donate the price of a movie ticket. If you are not in a position to host a girls’ night in, come along to our event on 19 October and show your support for the Cancer Council.

Here we are in 2012 and with the help of a fantastic committee, Shaza’s Girls’ Night In is on again. Having been diagnosed with cancer myself, it is now even more important for me to raise funds for the Cancer Council, so they can continue with vital research.

I personally know how important research into the cause and or treatment for cancer is. I was fortunate to be able to receive a drug call Herceptin during my active treatment. This drug was only made available due to a research project.

Where can people find out more information about Shaza’s Night In if they’re interested?

Tickets will go on sale in September for the next Shaza’s Girls Night In. We are still working through some of the details for the event; however, everyone is welcome to join us on what is going to be an amazing night. Keep your eyes out for the advertising material, which will be displayed around town in the near future. If anyone has any questions in the meantime, please give me a call on my mobile: 0419 448 224.

Thanks Sharon.

Interview by Jo Atkins.

This story was published in issue 24 of the Coffs Coast Focus

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