Who knows much about Rare Cancers (affecting 6 or less per 100,000 of the population) and even Less Common Cancers (affecting 6 to 12 per 100,000)?  Well those RCBD members who made it last Wednesday certainly now know much more than most, thanks to contributions from the Manager of Community Engagement (Zac Hulm) and the Patient Care Co-ordinator (Brian McDade) of Rare Cancers Australia (RCA). This is a Bowral-based organisation that provides a range of services to rare cancer sufferers and their carers and families. 
The unfortunate truth about such cancers is that they are so uncommon that they do not get sufficient attention from Big Pharma or the relevant research organisations, as they do not provide the “bang for a buck” of more common afflictions. They also often have difficulty getting pharmaceutical support from the PBS system in a timely manner.  Therefore, the treatments are usually much more expensive than the average, and often require travelling overseas.  RCA does what it can to help the sufferers, using funds primarily derived from grants and donations.  If you feel inclined to help them in some way, please visit their website at www.rarecancers.org.au
Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens
A number of us will be attending Earth Hour event at the SHBG on the 30th of March from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, where we will attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records by participating in the largest solar lantern display in the shape of a footprint that has ever been attempted. The target is to have at least 1500 solar-powered lanterns on display.  Unfortunately, those available at the event have been sold out, so you may have to bring your own.
In support of our Community Services Director, Chris Webb, we will also be helping out by providing BBQ facilities at the Gardens for the Autumn Open Gardens and Plant Fair which will take place on the 27th and 28th April, 9.00 am to 4:00 pm both days. The 2019 event promises to be an exciting one for SHBG and the Fair. As well as the activities at the Gardens site, they are featuring four town gardens - ‘Bangala’, ‘Gowan Brae’, ‘Timbarra’ and ‘Wirreanda’ in Bowral, and the extensive and historic rural garden ‘Rotherwood’ at Sutton Forest. All five gardens are very different and we all look forward to visiting them in April. 
Further information on SHBG activities is available on their website at www.shbg.com.au
Changeover Dinner
This highlight of the Rotary Year is fast approaching, and I have asked Geri Gardiner to help me get it organised.  We are looking at a few venue options, and we will update you as things firm up.  As a first step, we have settled on a date that fits in with our President Elect’s busy overseas travel schedule over the next 3 months or so – put Wednesday the 26th of June in your diaries.  Could all Directors also start thinking about their yearly reports so I don’t have to chase you too hard on the final days.
Next Week and Beyond
Thanks to Frank Rodrigues, we have a suite of excellent speakers promised over the next couple of months.  The details are available on the Home Page of the RCBD website at www.berrimadistrictrotary.com.