Woman raises $65k for dying colleague, wins award
A WOMAN has been recognised at an Adelaide awards ceremony after raising more than $65,000 for the family of a late colleague.
A farm supplies merchandise manager at Elders Gatton, Madeleine Humphrey had worked with Jason Blackwood for years when she heard about his Melanoma diagnosis.
"He was always very positive, he had such a chirpy personality. He loved to whistle around the office," Ms Humphrey said.
After Mr Blackwood's condition was diagnosed as terminal, Ms Humphrey sprung into action, organising a string of fundraisers for him and his family.
"There's not much you can do at times like that. But I wanted to do something for his family, he had a wife and three little kids," she said.
At first, Ms Humphrey aimed to raise $10,000, setting up a GoFundMe page and an auction night. What happened next surprised her.
"Before the auction I had rung around all of our suppliers, and also friends and family as far out as Tambo," she said.
"The GoFundMe page raised more than $20,000 and the auction more than $40,000.
"It was a really humbling experience, just how people wanted to help the family. Everyone has been touched by cancer so I think it pulled heart strings."
It took Ms Humphrey two and a half weeks to pull the effort together, as she raced to secure the funds.
"I was hoping Jason would be able to see it all, but sadly he passed away just before it finished," she said.
"It was surreal that our chirpy canary in the office was gone. I think he would have been proud to see everyone in the pink shirts rallying around his family.
"His father was there on the auction night and he thanked everyone for their support. Hopefully the funds will help (his family)."
In December, Ms Humphrey found out she had been nominated in two categories at the annual One Elders Awards and she travelled Adelaide for the ceremony.
"I was humbled to win the Give It award," she said.
"It was nice to be recognised for the hard work. I also thought, I hope this carries on Jason's story and raises more awareness.
"In winning, I also received $1500 to donate to a charity of my choice, in which I picked the melanoma institute."
Ms Humphrey is also honouring Mr Blackwood's legacy by reminding colleagues and friends to get their skin checked.
"I am trying to keep advocating for skin checks, I post to our internal work sites reminding people," she said.