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WOMAC supports PCRF as Charity of the Year

WOMAC supports PCRF as Charity of the Year

20 February 2013

The Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund is delighted to have been chosen by Women on the Move Against Cancer (WOMAC) as its charity of the year for 2013.

WOMAC was set up in 1979 by a group of women volunteers from the motor and associated industries, following the death from cancer of the Grand Prix racing driver Gunnar Nilsson.  The organisers decided to establish an annual fundraising dinner evening and, for over thirty years, have generously supported a wide variety of cancer charities, raising some £800,000 to date.

WOMAC’s focus is to provide funding for specific projects or research and, each year, selects a different cancer charity to support.  The organisation prefers to focus on less high profile forms of cancer and pancreatic cancer certainly fits the bill for them. This year the women are aiming to raise £15,000 towards supporting Dr Thorsten Hagemann’s PCRF-sponsored work at Barts Cancer Institute in London. Dr Hagemann’s research aims to develop programmed viruses that can destroy tumour cells without harming healthy tissue, and WOMAC’s  generosity will pay for special laboratory equipment and resources that are crucial to his work.

WOMAC’s dinner was held on 15 February in the Edwardian splendour of One Great George Street, just a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament.  The event is a major highlight in the motor industry’s calendar, with some 200 guests attending including, for this year, PCRF founder and CEO, Maggie Blanks and Dr Hagemann.

Huguette Boyagis, vice chair of WOMAC, explained: “Most of our benefactors are from motor industry PR departments or motor journalism and they all want to give something back. As with many industry supported events, patrons and contributors are not keen to publicise their involvement but are glad that they can help charities such as the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.”

Maggie Blanks said: “WOMAC is a remarkable organisation that’s been tirelessly fundraising for a range of cancer charities for three decades, with members giving their time and expertise for free.  We’re very grateful for their support – it will make a big difference to Dr Hagemann’s research team – and we had a wonderful evening!”

Picture (l-r) Dr Thorsten Hagemann and Maggie Blanks accept a cheque from WOMAC’s Chair, Janet Wilkinson and Mike Brewer, the fundraising evening’s MC.

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