Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Fine dining to support leukaemia research

Fundraising for Light the Night Benalla kicks off next month with a progressive dinner.

MONIQUE FREER June 13, 2014 3:37am

Kate Leith is organising a progressive dinner with Benalla restaurant owners Tor Kirk (Georgina's), Con and Jan Giannakis (Raffety's Restaurant) and Helen Ashton (North Eastern Hotel) to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Some of Benalla’s best restaurant creations will be on the menu next month when fundraising for Light the Night Benalla begins.

This year is the fourth twilight walk event, organised by Benalla resident Kate Leith to raise funds for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma research.

Ms Leith is battling a B-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia, a rare, incurable form of the blood cancer.

She learned of her diagnosis just months after giving birth to her second son, Noah, in October 2010.

‘‘This time three years ago, I was diagnosed with this dreaded disease and only given two years to live,’’ Ms Leith said.

‘‘(I’m) still here and fighting with all my might.’’

The 34-year-old is channelling her energy into fundraising for leukaemia research, beginning with a progressive dinner next month.

Each course of the three-course dinner will be held at different restaurants in Benalla; entree at Georgina’s Restaurant, main at Raffety’s Restaurant and dessert at the North Eastern Hotel.

North Eastern Hotel owner Helen Ashton said the venue owners were only too happy to help out.

‘‘It’s just such a good community venture,’’ Ms Ashton said.

There will also be a guest speaker at Raffety’s Restaurant and local musicians at North Eastern Hotel. A bus will take participants between the venues, and pick up and drop off points will be confirmed shortly.

The dinner is the first fundraising event in the lead up to Light the Night Benalla on September 20.

Ms Leith said fundraising for a longer period of time helped create more awareness in the community.

‘‘The aim of having so many fundraising items is to not only raise as much money as possible but also create different fundraising items,’’ she said.

‘‘We look at the progressive dinner as dinner with a difference, while raising some money.

‘‘I’d like to raise $15000. Last year we raised $12000, so we’re hoping to raise a little bit more.’’

Other events planned include a Melbourne shopping tour on August 2, three barbecues at Mitre 10 and Woolworths Benalla, a movie night and a raffle.

Ms Leith said fundraising was important for leukaemia patients because its research was not government funded.

‘‘The more money we raise the closer we get to maybe finding a cure,’’ she said.

The progressive dinner will be held on Saturday, July 12. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased from the three restaurants or from Ms Leith by phoning 0419 319 465. Tickets must be pre-purchased by July 4.

For more information about Light the Night and its fundraising, visit the Facebook page ‘Light the Night Benalla 2014’.

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