Mark’s challenge

Briagolong’s Mark Wagstaff knows only too well the importance of the Central Gippsland Health Service’s Oncology Unit.

Seeing family, friends and colleagues affected by cancer provided him the motivation to raise much needed funds to help bridge the shortfall in funding for the unit’s redevelopment.

Mark’s wife Candice, an Executive Admin Assistant at CGHS, has organised the CGHS annual fundraising ball for the past two years and Mark has assisted her. “I know how important fundraising is to the operation of the hospital, so decided to put my hand up for the Maffra Mardi Gras,” he said.

Mark said the Oncology Unit was currently treating more patients than ever so needed to expand to accommodate these extra patients.

According to the Cancer Council Australia, one in two males and one in three females will be diagnosed with some form of cancer by age 85.

“The planned redevelopment at Sale Hospital will extend the current area to create nine separate patient bays, allowing more privacy for patients and more room for staff and patients,” Mark said.

“It is envisaged the new facility will also include a discrete oncology waiting area, additional offices, a staff station, patient and staff toilets, a quiet room and a courtyard.”

Organised by the Rotary Club of Maffra, the mardi gras is a six week fundraising event with entrants choosing their charity or club to support. It will be launched on Friday (February 6) with the finale on March 21.

The theme for this year’s event is “Spirit of Anzac” so for Mark, a former regular army officer and current president of the Briagolong RSL, this was further motivation. “I am still in the Army Reserve and work for the Defence Force at East Sale RAAF Base so the theme means a lot to me,” he added.
The target for the redevelopment is $1.2m. To date the community has raised $330k with an additional $300k pledged. CGHS aims to raise the remainder by the end of 2015, at which point architects will be assigned and final drawings will be developed.

Mark and Candice have a big list of fundraising events and hope to get community support.

The events are: Feb 9 – Bingo Night Sale Greyhounds; Feb 10 – Cinema Night, Kingsman, Pre purchase; Feb 13 – Trivia Night, Sale Memorial Hall; Feb 15 – Horse Navigation Ride, Pre Entry; Feb 21 – Open Garden Day; Feb 27 – Trivia Night, Maffra Memorial Hall; Feb 28 – High Country Hut 4WD Trip, Pre Entry; Mar 13 – Trivia Night,; Mar 14 – Bunnings barbecue ; Mar 14 –BBQ Dinner and Music Night at Cambrai Hostel Maffra; Mar 21 – Mardi Gras Parade.

To keep updated on upcoming events or for more information, like Central Gippsland Health Service Oncology Redevelopment’s Facebook page ( or contact Candice Wagstaff on 0407455333. If you cannot make it to the events and would like to make a donation, also contact Candice.

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