Our blokes have done it again - raising more than $1 million with one lunch to fight prostate cancer.
Yesterday at Wellcamp Airport the Qantaslink It's A Bloke Thing prostate cancer lunch raised $1.13 million.
They set the bar high last year, raising $1.2 million.
It was the most successful fundraising daytime event in Australia.
This year the lunch attracted a star-studded line-up for guests speakers and performers, including country music star Lee Kernaghan, celebrity chefs Matt Golinski and Alastair McLeod.
The 2015 IABT Foundation chairman John Fitzgibbons said with more than $2M already raised in the past four years, he had expectations that this year's 450 guests would dig even deeper.
"The community of Toowoomba is incredibly generous time and time again," he said.
The lunch started very simply, Mr Fitzgibbons said, in 2011 when he and friends John Wagner, Mark Crampton and Gary Gardner, wanted to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer.
"Since then it's snowballed and just got bigger and better and now we've attracted people like Lee (Kernaghan), which is a big coup for us and the Toowoomba community," he said.
"It's very rewarding that we can make a difference."
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia national chairman Jim Hughes said the foundation would again invest an equivalent amount of money to the $565,000 which was pledged at the lunch, taking the total to $1.13M.
Qantas Group chief executive offier Alan Joyce sent the lunch a video message, in which he congratulated the IABT Foundation for their "great contribution" in raising awarenss of prostate cancer.
"Well done on this cause, well done on this community and well done on raising this money," he said.
"Go out there and sell the message and get as many people as possible checked as soon as possible."
He then shared his own cancer journey.
"I had prostate cancer in 2011," he said. "I was vry lucky; I had no intention of getting the test until I was 50.
"I was persuaded to go for an annual check-up, because a friend of mine, a colleague of mne, had an illness.
"I went to the doctor five years earlier than I was planning, had an exam and found I had a problem with my prostate.
"The doctor told me it needed to be removed.
"If I'd waited until I was 50 there would have been an 80 to 90 per cent chance it would have been too late."