South Canterbury Cancer Society health promoter Lucy Mehrtens has many reasons to celebrate on August 30.
First, it's Daffodil Day, the Cancer Society's main fundraising event. Second, it's Lucy's birthday. And thirdly, in a fateful twist, the annually released national Daffodil Day bear has this year been named Lucy.
"I just laughed when I heard. It's pretty unlikely," Lucy said.
Ms Mehrtens will be spending the day springing up over the town dressed as a daffodil in a costume that her mum has made.
"It's not finished yet, but it's looking pretty good already. I'm going to be rocking around in my daffodil suit."
Lucy the bear is the 13th in a line of bears stretching back as many years, and as Ms Mehrtens only started working for the Cancer Society this year, it seems a bit suspect the bear was given her name - but she swears she had nothing to do with it.
The bears are sold for $10 each as part of the fundraiser, and because of the nature of the special occasion Ms Mehrtens says her mum has bought a few of the furry Lucys to give away.
"I think she's bought 10 of them to give to family and friends. It's a good way to make a donation," Ms Mehrtens said.
The Cancer Society is not funded by the government, and depends on donations to operate.
"There's never a shortage of things we need, and we receive referrals nearly every day," said Cancer Society South Canterbury manager Gabrielle Hall.
Daffodil day is the Cancer Society's annual flagship event, a major funding source for the Cancer Society and one of the most important awareness campaigns in the country, according to the Cancer Society's website.
The daffodil's bright yellow blooms remind us of the joys spring will bring. The flower represents the hope there is for the one in three New Zealanders affected by cancer.
Donations go towards vital scientific research into the causes and treatment of all types of cancer, as well as providing a wide range of support services, information, health promotion and education programmes to reduce cancer risk, awareness campaigns and programmes for people affected by cancer.
SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD
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