Alisha Harper

After Alisha Harper’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was inspired to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast for the first time in 2022. She got together with her friend Anna and they planned a “mum’s day out” event with a variety of stalls and pamper sessions. Last year they were back and driven to make their Pink Ribbon Breakfast “bigger and better” with their family fun day out at Whangārei’s Barge Park Event Centre. The massages and manicures are back but there was also bouncy castles, arts and crafts and much more!

After my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two and a half years ago, I was inspired to support Breast Cancer Foundation NZ and raise awareness by hosting a Pink Ribbon Breakfast event.

Mum was diagnosed via a mammogram, which came as a shock to us all, especially after no history of breast cancer in the family. My mother is a carer by nature and is always looking after everyone else. After the news of her diagnosis, her first major concerns were for her family. Throughout her breast cancer journey, she has been so amazing and so strong, but it has also been heartwarming to see the care and support she has been shown, and for her to be on the receiving end of that for once.

Our Pink Ribbon Breakfast event, the Think Pink Gala, hosted by my friend Anna and I, was held at the Barge Park Event Centre in Whangārei. For our first time hosting, we ran a “mum’s day out” with stalls including my business Flourish Maternity, pop-up photography run by Anna at Forever Memories Photography and lots of “pamper” stalls like massages, and manicures. In total we raised $2,800.

Mum was there on the day, helping out as always! My dad was there too, in a bright pink apron, cooking up a storm on the barbecue! They were both back the following year helping support Pink Ribbon, something very close to their hearts.

Last year we had the drive to go bigger and better with our family fun day out at Barge Park. Along with the stalls, pampering, and photography, there were also pony and tractor rides and bouncy castles. The stalls included all things mum and baby, clothing, toys, candles, soaps, macrame, plants, crafts and much more. We also had a cake stall contributed to by our family and friends.

A minimum of ten per cent of stall holder sales as well as 100% of door donations, cake sales, bouncy castle and raffle tickets went to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

It was a great occasion for Whangārei, for the community to connect and engage with each other, as well as to promote local businesses, especially after the recent tough times brought about by Covid-19.

For others looking to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, we recommend you start planning early, so you don’t have to rush closer to the time, and also get the word out, because it is amazing what the community can do when it pulls together to support an important cause like this.

A special thank you to everyone who has helped make this event happen, your kindness and support is so appreciated.