Biggest Morning Tea at ‘The Secret Garden’

STONEMAN’S Garden Centre was given a touch of magic this April with a record number of guests dressing up to the theme of ‘The Secret Garden’ to make a difference to the lives of cancer patients and their families.

Stoneman’s annual Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea Party saw attendees enjoy a large spread of cupcakes and lamingtons to raise funds for the Australian Cancer Council (ACC).

With Tasmanian actor and comedian John Xintavelonis (also known as John X) acting as master of ceremonies, guests engaged in fundraising activities, including games, best dressed competitions, auctions and raffles.

Stoneman’s owner Graham Stoneman said there was a real sense of community at the event as people worked together to give cancer the boot.

“It’s a great way for a business to connect with the community and we are about connections, so it’s a great way for us to have fun and raise money on the way through,” he said.

For Mr Stoneman, the Biggest Morning Tea is a very important day of the year.

“My father was first diagnosed with stage four cancer on the day of our first Morning Tea in 2012, so for us as a family group the timing is really critical to something that happened with my family,” he said.

Despite having a target of $3000, Mr Stoneman said they had well exceeded that, raiseing more than $6000.

The theme of The Secret Garden came about after Stoneman’s provided a real garden set to the Playhouse Theatre production of the same name.

John X said he was amazed at how much support was shown by the community.

“Cancer and heart disease are the two biggest things that affect people’s families, and it’s amazing to see how generous Tasmanians are in supporting these causes,” he said.

“You’ll be hard pushed to find anybody that hasn’t been touched by cancer in some way or another – whether it’s a relative or a close friend, and the Stoneman’s have had cancer touch their lives at some point.

“We still need to fund cures and that’s what this money does with the ACC – it not only goes to research, but also helps people who are living with cancer.”

Caption: Back from left, Tasmanian actor John X and Stoneman’s Garden Centre owner Graham Stoneman, front from left, Ian Parker, Vaira Innis, Stoneman’s marketing manager Jo Stoneman, Alison Parker and Brenton Playford at Stoneman’s Biggest Morning Tea.