Coles Campaign ‘Fill The Gaps In Brain Tumour Research’
In 2014, Connor’s friend Ben Stonier was awarded Sandringham Coles Local Community Hero for his volunteer work with us at the foundation. The store manager offered to promote Connor’s Run in store the week before the event. Having sold out and being on target for the fundraising goal, we kindly asked if we could use the space in a different way. And so a new idea and movement was born. One that had the support of 6 Coles stores in Bayside and raised $25000.
Here is how the story unfolded in Ben’s words:
I’ve been working at Coles now for six years, and I have been completely blown away by the generosity Coles has shown towards myself and the RCD Foundation.
Last year, a few weeks before Connor’s Run, Liz and I had a meeting with the then manager of Sandringham Coles Russ Gamble after the store put me forward for the “Coles Community Hero of the Year” award for my involvement with the RCD foundation and my friendship with Connor. We went to that meeting not knowing what to expect.
What happened next shocked us all. Russ more or less handed over the Sandringham store to the foundation. With it, we created a new idea, one that allowed us to visualise the foundation’s theme of The Brain is where the Heart lives while giving shoppers the ability to donate and symbolically show their support. To fill the gaps in brain tumour research by filling a giant brain on the wall with a brainheart. And the result was incredible. There were posters everywhere, and team members asked customers to buy brainhearts at the checkout. In just one week at one store, we raised $2200.
This year Coles’ support went even further – for two weeks before Connor’s Run, 6 Coles stores were selling the brainhearts for $2, $5 or $10 at every register – and it was a huge success. Some stores went over and beyond the selling of the brainhearts – many stores did sausage sizzles, bake sales and even sold homemade scented candles to raise money for brain cancer!
It showed how enthusiastic every team member was – how they got behind the cause and were really touched by Connor’s story. They wanted to make a difference – and they did! The 6 Coles stores located around Bayside raised an incredible $25,000 for the Foundation, which can fund the greater part of a PHD scholarship. How cool is that!
I’m really looking forward to next year, and with the continued support of Coles, who knows what we can achieve.