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Cakes make the menu Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

Colourful cards say thank you WALLS at The Bays Hospital, Mornington, are brighter and more colourful thanks to thoughtful contributions from students at St Macartans Primary School. Visual arts teacher Kristy Hayes said that at the beginning of term 3 she called the hospital to ask if she could send in some artwork to cheer healthcare workers and patients. “We were aware minimal visitors were allowed,” she said. “Hospital reception loved the idea and invited us to drop off some work.” Ms Hayes and foundation to year 2 visual arts teacher Andrea Kirkpatrick collected some of the works of leaves and beach boxes completed at the end of term 2 and dropped them off. To complement this, year 5 students made watercolour cards and letters thanking nurses and doctors for their hard work during the pandemic. “Because of the five kilometre restrictions, I made a video slideshow of all the art work and

With love: St Macartans Primary School year 5 student Holli Penpraze makes a thank-you card at home during distance learning. The image was supplied by her mum, Michelle.

messages and emailed it to reception to share with the staff,” Ms Hayes said. “It was wonderful to see students show such initiative and become engaged in creating work for this purpose. The children's artwork included messages of thanks, inspiration and hope. “Hospital staff were so grateful they sent us a picture of our art hanging on the walls.”

MOUNT Eliza resident Joanne Gunnersen believes Christmas is a time for giving, not receiving, and has seen her bountiful taste treats raise more than $162,000 for the Cancer Council of Victoria over the past 12 years. The founder of Christmas Cakes for Cancer, Ms Gunnersen has worked diligently to develop Joanne’s Handmade Christmas Cakes from baking 200 cakes at her home when she started in 2008 to a high of 10,500 in 2017. The money goes to fight bladder, pancreatic and kidney and other “insidious and hidden” cancers which, she says, tend to be under funded. This year, because of dampened demand caused by COVID-19, the number of gift wrapped cakes is more likely to be much lower. “If I do 2000 I will be over the moon,” she said. A trial of shortbreads will add to the tally. That’s still a monumental task for one woman, but help from volunteers, friends, friends of friends, and sports and community groups who come to her home to wrap, load and deliver the taste treats has made Ms Gunnersen’s task a little easier but no less rewarding. While busily cooking the cakes at home in the early days, Ms Gunnersen tripped and fell over, breaking her leg and arm. Frustrated at not being able to stir her big copper pot with its 10 kilograms of cake mix and brandy, she realised she needed to get someone else to do the cooking. Enter Gen U in 2010 – which used to be called Karingal – but which is now a Geelong based disability organisation. Professional chefs supervise the cooking process that gives jobs to those with mental and physical disabilities. “I couldn’t get over what they accomplish there,” she said. “They are very clever and to see the joy on their faces is wonderful.” Employees at Gen-U call Ms Gunnersen the

Joanne Gunnersen at home in her kitchen. Picture: Yanni “Cake Lady” as they bake and wrap and send the cakes off to volunteers in Ms Gunnersen’s converted workroom, who finishes them off with the traditional red bow. Always with a “couple of cakes in the oven” when she’s at home, Ms Gunnersen said her grandmother gave her the recipe for a traditional boiled Christmas cake when she was a child. They contain only the best quality ingredients and are packed full of fruit, but these days include a “bit more butter and brandy”.

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Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

Southern Peninsula News 20 October 2020  

Southern Peninsula News 20 October 2020

Southern Peninsula News 20 October 2020  

Southern Peninsula News 20 October 2020

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