Last year, BCNA’s long-term partner, Bakers Delight, announced that founders and joint-CEOs Roger and Lesley Gillespie were stepping down. While the leadership has changed, Bakers Delight’s commitment to BCNA is unwavering.
Elise Gillespie’s connection to BCNA started before the organisation had even began. BCNA founder, Lyn Swinburne, taught Elise at primary school.
A few years after her diagnosis, Lyn was speaking at an event about her vision to grow a national network for women with breast cancer.
Elise’s parents, Roger and Lesley, heard Lyn speak that day and immediately offered to help.
‘Bakers Delight had just moved its head office into a new building,’ says Elise.
‘The office was bigger than we needed back then, so Mum and Dad suggested that Lyn work from one of the spare desks.
‘They set her up with a computer, and the rest is history. The relationship just grew organically from there, with the partnership officially beginning in 2000.’
The first Pink Bun campaign was in 2004, while Elise and her now husband David Christie were leading Bakers Delight’s operations in Canada.
‘We heard about how well the Pink Bun campaign was growing in Australia and wanted to do something similar in Canada,’ says David.
‘While we supported some great causes in Canada, we found there’s nothing like Pink Bun.
‘The Bakers Delight–BCNA relationship isn’t something you can fake or replicate.’
Elise and David’s passion for BCNA is shared by their staff – from the support office to the franchisees and those working in the bakeries.
‘Some of our junior bakery staff may have never met anyone diagnosed before,’ says Elise.
‘But when a survivor goes into the bakery and thanks them for what they’re doing – they can’t help but feel connected to the cause.’
In 2017, the Pink Bun campaign raised a record-breaking $1.84 million for BCNA. Elise and David have high hopes for 2018.
‘We hope this year’s Pink Bun campaign will be bigger and better than ever,’ says Elise.
‘We’re aiming to raise $2 million for BCNA.’
However, David says the campaign isn’t just about raising money.
‘We hope that by turning our bakeries pink, we’re helping to make sure that everyone diagnosed with breast cancer knows that BCNA is there from them and they are not alone on their journey.’
The Pink Bun campaign finishes on 23 May. To find your nearest bakery, visit bakersdelight.com.au/BakeryLocator.