Coffee Cup Conversations

Can003The number of charities organising fund raising events – and the variety of activities organised by hard working committee members – is increasing day by day. There isn’t one week in the TRNC that passes by without a coffee morning or quiz night being held in a popular restaurant, bar or hotel. Many organisations have at least one major fund raising event a year; but one well established cancer charity has to operate in ‘top gear’ all year round. The Help Those With Cancer Association was founded twenty-one years ago by Raziye Kocaismail. The expat community may know this charity by it’s more informal name of Tulips. Thanks to the efforts of many caring and giving locals on the island, Tulips is certainly amongst the top causes to support.
Carole King and Sue Tilt are a dynamic duo with a mission to help Tulips in every way possible. That includes raising awareness, funds and ensuring that those who need assistance get the support they need. Chatting with these two remarkable ladies I am once again humbled by the generosity of the people who have adopted our country as their new home. Carole and Sue are close friends, and it’s this friendship that keeps them going during busy and sometimes difficult times running around for Tulips. They both have personal reasons for wanting to support this particular charity; a charity that offers both moral and financial support to cancer sufferers and their families, regardless of their nationality.

As I have said, it’s not an easy task to get the funds to provide care for the increasing number of cancer patients that literally knock on the association’s door on a daily basis. Due to the charity’s good reputation there are many willing individuals and groups that often organise events – donating the proceeds to Tulips. Sue tells me of one event that is sure to grab the attention of the TRNC public. The Veni Vici restaurant in Lapta is holding a ‘record breaking’ pasta eating marathon on Sunday the 21st of September. The owners, Nadine and Richard Muller, have decided to open on their day off, and with their staff (who are all working for free that day) they aim to cook at least one thousand pasta dishes for their customers. There will be four dishes to choose from, including one vegetarian meal, and 10TL of the 15TL spent by those dining will go to Tulips. The event will start at 11am and end at 11pm and if you don’t want to sit at the restaurant you can always order a takeaway and eat the pasta in the comfort of your own home.


During our chat Carole reminded me that October is world breast cancer awareness month and the charity has many, many events lined up. The list of activities is too long to mention but apparently there is something for everyone to participate in or support. The traditional “pink day” where everyone – from the kids at school, to bank clerks and office workers – are encouraged to wear pink and donate money to Tulips. This includes the men too! This year special t-shirts are going to be sold in celebration of the day; pink t-shirts for the ladies and black t-shirts with pink writing for the gentlemen.

Both Carole and Sue can be seen behind the Tulips stall at the hugely popular Saturday market at Chateau Lambousa in Lapta, and you can buy Tulips merchandise and even donate goods to be sold in aid of the charity at this stall. It’s not easy to keep the momentum going as so often on this small island of ours it’s the same pockets that are being targeted. However I urge everyone – man, woman and child – to do all they can to support Tulips (and all the other deserving charities) whenever possible. You never know, it may be you who is in need of their help one day!

Steve Sydenham Books

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