The first tea towel in the ChariTea Towel Collection is Cure Brain Cancer Foundation which is based just outside Sydney, New South Wales (Australia). It’s mission is to increase the brain cancer five-year survival from the current 20% to 50%, by the year 2023, a big target “and we see research and clinical trials as the process for making this happen”. All funds raised by Cure Brain Cancer Australia just go towards research. Around 1600 people are diagnosed with brain cancer, each year, in Australia and approximately 1200 die from it, during the same period.
Cure Brain Cancer Foundation was founded in 2001, by renowned neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo, with an origami crane as it’s symbol. A crane represents longevity and good fortune, the aspirations for brain cancer patients. There is a wonderful article on Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s website where you can download the format for the origami crane and make it yourself. If any Museum Visitor tries this, take a photograph of your attempt and I will add it to this article.
Cure Brain Cancer Foundation has two fundraising tea towels; this is their story. “The tea towels were brought to life as part of our role as the official charity partner for the Tulip Time Festival, the largest Tulip Festival in the Southern Hemisphere. It is held in the Southern Highlands, just outside of Sydney. We had the chance to be a part of the festival in 2016 and use the 35,000+ visitors to help raise funds, and awareness, for our cause. That part of the Southern Highlands is renowned for having beautiful tea rooms, and in fact, we were onsite with the Bowral Country Women’s Association – so we thought it would be a good fit to do some bespoke tea towels to raise money. The theme for the Festival was Alice in Wonderland so we had plenty of fun, creative concepts to work with! Hence we ended up with the Queen of Hearts and the Alice in Wonderland tea towels. The tea towels, themselves, are not designed to be educational; they’re designed to be fun”.
The tea towels “were designed by our beautiful graphic designer, Kath Marshall. We wanted to keep it more fun and beautiful than too much about brain cancer and, when we gave her this brief, she came back with the designs attached and we loved them. We then added a small embroidered ‘Cure Brain Cancer’ tag so everyone would remember that they had done some good by buying this tea towel. The tea towel was initially sold at the Tulip Time Festival in Corbett Gardens, Bowral in September 2016 and after that online. Once we sell our entire run we will have made just shy of 10,000 Australian dollars for vital brain cancer research. We were very careful to pick a cost efficient, but quality, fabric choice – linen/cotton blend, stays beautiful and soft, while absorbent”.
What a great story of how two fundraising tea towels came into being. I like the idea of them designed to be fun but with the tag to remind people what they are about. I suggest that Visitors to the Museum have a go at making the origami crane, then let me have a picture to add to this story and finally buy a tea towel.