Ada Staader

FROM NEWCASTLE, LOST HER BROTHER LEONARD TO CANCER

In 1999, Ada’s brother Leonard was diagnosed with cancer. It was the first time her family had come face to face with the illness, it was also the year that Ada decided to host her first Biggest Morning Tea.

Now an impressive 86 years old, the Newcastle local has continued to host a Biggest Morning Tea every year for the past 17 years, raising over $50,000 for Cancer Council NSW. For her, it was something she could do to help her brother and others affected by cancer.

The impact of Leonard’s cancer diagnosis was difficult for Ada and her family. Although her brother was only able to attend one of her morning teas, Ada continued to host year after year in honour of her brother’s memory.

“My brother was very, very ill at the time but he still came to my first morning tea and then the next year he passed away. It was devastating not to have Leonard there again, everyone knew he was missing. But I continued to host and raise money because I knew how cancer affected the lives of so many people, just like it did to my family.”

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“I do the Biggest Morning Tea because I want to achieve something. Even just the feeling of helping people and the people that come and help me and come to talk about cancer – I think that achieves something.”

“I do the Biggest Morning Tea because I want to achieve something. Even just the feeling of helping people and the people that come and help me and come to talk about cancer – I think that achieves something.”

While Ada’s Biggest Morning Teas have grown incredibly over the years, she points out that any morning tea, no matter the size, can contribute to funding Cancer Council’s world-class research, cancer prevention and support initiatives.

“Even just a cup of tea for three or four people can make a huge difference. Just start off with a few of your friends and the money you raise will contribute to the bigger picture.

“Every now and again I’ll see something on television that my pennies have funded over the years and I feel like I’ve achieved something.”

“Every now and again I’ll see something on television that my pennies have funded over the years and I feel like I’ve achieved something.”

Ada begins preparing for her annual Biggest Morning Tea months in advance.

“I send a lot of invitations out myself and over the years it’s grown to about a hundred guests. I do a lot of cooking beforehand, or otherwise I’d never get it done. I start baking all the slices in April and then I freeze them and pack them up ready to sell.”

On the official day, Ada is up at 4am baking hundreds of fresh scones. While she does a lot of the leg work getting ready for the morning tea, she says she can’t do it without the help of her family and friends who continue to support her.

“My sister and sister-in-law do a lot of knitting and sewing to sell on the day and a lot of people donate things. Everybody is behind me, helping me – that’s what gets me through. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it,” she says.

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“You don’t have to be affected by cancer to attend or host a morning tea. I feel so great after doing it and I hope it encourages others to host as well.

The most rewarding part of hosting for Ada is knowing that she’s bringing people together for a common cause.

“You don’t have to be affected by cancer to attend or host a morning tea. I feel so great after doing it and I hope it encourages others to host as well. I could even help them along if they needed me to – I could do the cooking for them too!” She laughs.

“I’ve still got the energy to do it all these years and I hope to do it again for the 18th year.”

“Just get your friends together, grab your coffee cup and make your favourite cake. Then make sure to get the money out of them before they leave!”

For anyone who isn’t sure if they can host a Biggest Morning Tea this year, Ada has one thing to say.

“Just get your friends together, grab your coffee cup and make your favourite cake. Then make sure to get the money out of them before they leave!”

Host a Morning Tea in May or June to help Cancer Council fund vital research, prevention programs, advocacy and support services for those affected by cancer.

Register now