A group of Port Macquarie golfers are on a mission today (December 5) to play 72 holes of golf to raise thousands of dollars for the Cancer Council.
The Longest Day Golf Challenge tasks participants to successfully complete all four rounds of golf during daylight hours
Mitch Sibthorpe, Matt Lill, Dean Castiglioni and Paul Novak hopes that by taking part in the challenge, they can raise funds to support the Cancer Council's life-saving cancer research, prevention programs, and information and support services.
"This is Paul and I's fifth year doing the challenge," Castiglioni said. "We love the game, and we all wanted to get involved to raise some money where we can."
Castiglioni said the group started at 5.30am and are on track to finish at 6pm.
While this is Sibthorpe and Lill's first time taking part in The Longest Day, they decided to add an extra challenge to their already gruelling day of golf.
"We decided to walk it instead of taking the cart," Lill said. "It has been good so far, but we are starting to feel it a bit now.
"We know that other people go through a lot with cancer, so if we've got to punish ourselves for a day to raise that awareness then it's all worthwhile."
Christine Williams, Cancer Council's Community Relations Coordinator, said The Longest Day is a good reminder for all participants to use sun protection when outside.
"Playing golf is a good way to keep active, but as recreational golfers spend extended periods of time out in the sun, we want to remind all participants to use sun protection to reduce their skin cancer risk," Ms Williams said.
"Across NSW, UV levels are high enough to require sun protection for most of the year, so we encourage golfers to keep sun-safe and slip, slop, slap, seek and slide, not only on The Longest Day, but each and every day."
The money will go towards helping local services like the complimentary Transport to Treatment program, whereby cancer patients in the region are taken to the North Coast Cancer Institute, Port Macquarie free of charge.
Funds also help locals with financial and legal assistance, home help and counselling.
Cancer Council also injects millions of dollars each year into research to prevent and treat cancer.
While one in two people are expected to get cancer by the age of 85, Australia is also on track to be the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer (by 2035).
And the five-year relative survival rates from breast cancer have improved from 75% to 94%.
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