It started with a coffee

The Coke Spiders at the 2016 event.

Fundraiser. At a Sunday lunch in December 2007 a group of seven friends discussed forming a team in Circular Head’s first Relay for Life, to be held in March the following year.

But, what to name them?

The four ladies, friends connected with Edith Creek Primary School, often had coffee or lunch together. Lunch or coffee always started with a yummy coke spider and to this day, it still does.

Valmai and Bill Birtwistle, Jill and Graham Horne, Sue and Ashley Popowski, and Maria O’Reilly were joined by Sue and Peter Lodge, Lorraine Davis and son Luke, and Cody Fisher.

The team was quick to jump into the game by throwing some memorable fundraisers that first year including a St Patrick’s Day market stall at Irishtown, quiz night, and breakfasts at the Hornes’ and Popowskis’.

Over the years, team members have changed, some have passed and others joined: Cynthia and Dallas Burke, Helen and Don Ralston, Lucy Harrison, Claire and Craig Porteus, Debbie Butt, Karen Spinks, Brian Bouncer, Donna Kay, Ray Murphy, and Justin O’Reilly have all been part of the Coke Spiders.

The team has also changed its fundraising technique to a donation from each person. But the original purpose remains the same: to walk and raise funds for cancer research and have fun at the same time.

The 2018 Relay for Life is to be held at the Smithton Recreation Ground on the weekend of March 17 and 18.

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