Bandanna Day tradition

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian

For more than 10 years, Ken Martin has taken annual leave from work on the last Friday of October to sell bandannas on behalf of national youth cancer support organisation CanTeen.

The 52-year-old rugby fan is the only community fundraiser for CanTeen in Geraldton, committing himself to the cause after a friend’s son was diagnosed with cancer.

“It all started with this young fella Jeremy Morgan,” Mr Martin said.

“I knew his dad, so I started selling bandannas with Jeremy, who had started doing it before me.

“Jeremy’s since passed away, but I decided to keep it going.”

Mr Martin has been participating in CanTeen’s annual National Bandanna Day in a different location in Geraldton ever since.

Mr Martin, who works as a storeman at McDonalds Wholesalers, said his managers had always supported the day he took off work for the cause.

“Since working here, my manager has always been very happy for me to do it,” he said.

He said it hadn’t been easy in recent years to raise money for the cause.

“It’s hard,” he said.

“There are so many different charities and so many different people looking for money.

“It’s very quiet compared to what it used to be.

“I raised about $800 last year, but when I was first starting out it would be between $2500 and $3000.”

Mr Martin said despite the dwindling donations, he was happy to keep selling.

“The more I sell, the better it is,” he said.

“I’ll probably keep doing it until they don’t want me anymore.”

For more information about National Bandanna Day, visit canteen.org.au/bandanna-day/.

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