On Saturday, Sale Wears Pink

RAAF

More than 170 women from RAAF Base East Sale and the Sale community came together at the RAAF Base East Sale Roulette Cinema, raising more than $15,000 for Sale Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Foundation (NICF).

With a pink dress code, the Ladies Night event on Saturday May 11 was hosted by the RAAF East Sale Community Hub, and included a costume competition, trivia, raffles, food, drink and handcraft stalls, before a showing of the 2024 Mean Girls movie.

The cinema event was developed by Sergeant Rachael Hopkins after she spent several harrowing weeks with her six-week-old son at the Sale Hospital, in the midst of Victoria’s stringent COVID-19 restrictions.

Given equipment limitations at the regional hospital, Sergeant Hopkins was initially advised her son would need to receive treatment in Melbourne – a daunting concept involving 14 days of isolation and an indefinite separation from her four older children.

Sergeant Hopkins said a chance encounter with the founder of NICF, Peter Cursley, sparked the idea for how Air Force could support their local Sale community.

“Every dollar raised tonight will go towards a bedside sonography machine for the hospital’s maternity ward,” Mr Cursley said.

NICF relies on volunteers for staffing, with 100 per cent of funds raised going directly to helping sick and premature babies in the community – something that is not lost on the RAAF Base East Sale community.

The East Sale Community Hub is run by volunteers from RAAF families who donate their time and skills to the event, supported by donations from local businesses and units.

“I realised that this was something we needed to do,” Sergeant Hopkins said.

“It’s never been about the movie though. It’s about getting together with friends to do something for a good cause.”

Organisers were thrilled with the community turnout, including staff from the Sale Hospital, for Ladies Night, now in its third year.

Donations to the NICF can be made directly to each of their three chapters in Canberra, Sale and Bairnsdale via newborn.org.au

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