Five years ago, Mimosa Matters started life as a conversation over coffee among a group of female expats who had all been touched by cancer and were keen to make a difference to the community they live in.
Today, this association has raised almost a quarter of a million euros through a variety of innovative and fun events, which have directly benefitted countless cancer sufferers and their families throughout the Alpes Maritimes.
“If you had told us then that we were on course to raise such an incredible amount of money, I’m not sure any of us would have believed it was possible,” admits Juliette Clarkin, who runs Mimosa with Sophie James, Ellie Goblet d’Alviella, Gemma Bishop, Sara Parks, Marilen Kenington, Camilla Daley and Ruth Jiggins.
“We have already reached €231,000 and we have set ourselves a target of raising a million euros within 10 years. Every year, the momentum grows thanks to the enormous generosity of our community here on the Côte d’Azur.”
With plans for 2018’s fundraising events already well underway, this year sees an important shift in the way Mimosa will operate.
“There simply aren’t enough of us on the committee to set up and co-ordinate every event so we are asking people to think up their own fundraisers and run them in partnership with Mimosa,” adds Juliette. “If anyone has a suggestion for a fundraiser that they can organise on our behalf, we would love to hear from them.”
With regular fixtures like the Mimosa Ball, Golf Day, and Gently Worn Clothes Sales generating many thousands of euros, the diary for 2018 is even more varied and original.
Having kicked off the year with the annual Mimosa quiz hosted by Fiona MacLeod in January at The Castle in Chateauneuf, which raised €1,215, new events abound, including three local residents Keren Sharp, Birgit Mehrens and Ruth Jiggins volunteering for a sponsored hair cut, chopping their tresses short and donating them to make wigs for cancer patients who have lost their own hair due to chemotherapy.
Following the enormous success of Mimosa’s Nice-Cannes Marathon each November, the association is launching its first Mini Mimosa Charity Fun Run at the Stade Municipal des Bouillides in Sophia Antipolis on Sunday 15 April 2018. There will be three runs for youngsters aged between 5 and 15, and kids will be helping kids as all funds raised by registration and sponsorship will go towards helping children with cancer in the 06 region.
“Our kids are often the driving force in getting the rest of us into marathon training,” Juliette says with a laugh, “so this is about teaching the next generation about health, eating well and giving something back to the community. It’s also a way that grandparents, friends and other family members abroad can support their young ones by donating.”
Sponsored by Ebica School, registration for the Mini Mimosa run opens on 12 March 2018, and will cost 10€ per child, inclusive of a Mini Mimosa T-shirt. Registration closes on 8 April 2018.
Proposed summer events include a glamorous beach club lunch, a wellness day full of inspiring health advice and pampering treatments, an open-air yoga morning dedicated to the memory of Pilates instructor and popular Antibes resident Marika Gruber, as well as the eagerly anticipated European premiere of an inspiring documentary following a leading filmmaker’s emotional journey through cancer and treatment.
Mimosa would also like to attract new runners to the annual Nice-Cannes Marathon in November 2018, and aims to double the 160-plus runners registering to take part each year. Every winter, the yellow sea of Mimosa T-shirt-wearing relay, half and full marathon runners, many of whom have never raced before, raises a phenomenal €25,000 and Mimosa is looking at innovative ideas on how to move the fundraising outside of sponsorship alone.
“We understand that people get donation fatigue so we also want to promote the idea of people raising their sponsorship donations through holding bake sales, cocktail evenings, coffee mornings, or anything else that raises money,” adds Juliette. “We are also keen to hear from any potential sponsors out there who’d like to support the Mimosa Marathon.”
Mimosa monies have provided immeasurable joy, relief and education in the ongoing fight against cancer. As well as organising a magical trip to EuroDisney for young cancer patients last year, Mimosa recently funded a cancer prevention campaign via five poignant and informative vignettes for La Ligue Contre le Cancer, each with a key message.
2018 will be rounded off with a remembrance and carol service in December, while early plans are already afoot for a Macmillan-style coffee morning on World Cancer Day, 4 February 2019.
You can find out more about all the events above on Mimosa Matters Facebook page.