Airlie Homestead fundraiser raises $17000 for Charlie Teo Foundation

The "unusual" weather event of rain did not stop close to $17,000 being raised at a fundraiser for brain cancer research at Airlie Homestead, Rawdon Vale.

James and Suzanne Landers threw open the doors to their National Trust Listed property on July 6 for "Derek's Day".

Suzanne's son, Derek Kerry was only 32 when he lost his battle with brain cancer.

The father of three succumbed to the disease which 1200 Australians are diagnosed with each year.

The former Dungog High School teacher's family have hosted the "Day for Derek" since 2017 to raise awareness of and funds for brain cancer research.

The first Day for Derek raised more than $26,000 for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

This year the Day for Derek supported the Charlie Teo Foundation, pioneers in brain cancer research.

Mrs Landers presented a cheque of just a few dollars under $17000 to the Ambassador for the Charlie Teo Foundation, Marcella Zemanek recently at the Cardiff workshop of Derek's brother Shaun Kerry, U Build Containers.

Despite the welcome fall of the first rain in months, visitors were not detracted from attending the fundraiser.

A small animal nursery entertained the children as did a duck race on the river and a whip cracking competition.

"So many local businesses contributed to the day especially with items for the auction conducted by renowned veterinarian Ian Gollan with assistance from Peter Markey and the Day for Derek Committee," said Mrs Landers.

Derek' s 10 -year-old old nephew, Shannon Atkins raised almost $2000 for having his beautiful brown locks sheared by his mother Kate on the stage - a truck loaned for the day from regional livestock transporter, Trevor Yates.

Several women from Dungog and surrounding rural areas including Kathy McDonald and Cath Turrin worked on stalls on the day, helping cook up a storm of sweets and toffees for the visitors.

Eileen Nicholson, ably assisted by Godfrey Nicholson had an array of cakes and slices which sold out quickly. Marian Day had health care products on her stall and local artist Simone Turner donated a copy of her Brumbies Print for theaAuction and assisted with the raffle of items donated from far and wide.

The Day for Derek committee members conducted house tours and Red Cross volunteers served Devonshire teas on the verandahs of the homestead.

Helicopter rides planned for the day by Matt Edwards of Helicopter Lifting Services of Newcastle had to be abandoned because of the heavy cloud cover and low visibility. "The sun did finally break out about 11am and special guest Mary Bishop for the Charlie Teo foundation and local federal MP David Gillespie opened the proceedings and informed the small crowd of the valuable research being undertaken by the Foundation to find a cure for Brain cancer and the monies allocated by the Federal Government since the first fundraiser at Airlie.

"The Charlie Teo Foundation brings hope to people affected by brain cancer," said Mrs Landers.

"Hope of a better future - that we will eventually find a cure for brain cancer.

"We're inspired by Charlie's incredible community and hard work to bring people and organisations together in the fight against brain cancer."