That’s no small amount, especially for a teen still navigating high school, and her dedication shows no signs of wavering soon.
“Fifty thousand is my next goal,” Mahayla says, speaking of a number she aims to meet before the end of 2018.
By 2020, she is aiming for $100,000.
Mahayla’s driving force comes from her beloved grandmother, Joyce Jones, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014.
A short two weeks after her diagnosis she passed away.
Mahayla’s fundraising journey began two years later with a local dance flash mob, an event she organised after months of fundraising research, weeks of preparation and over twenty rehearsals.
“I wanted to do something to make a difference,” Mahayla says.
“People gave up their time to help [and] get involved, I didn’t expect to raise more than $100.”
That first event raised $500 which Mahayla donated to the Cancer Council SA.
She has since organised more than 20 fundraising events, held awareness days at schools, and visited cancer patients in hospital.
Donations from these events have gone towards the Cancer Council SA, the Leukaemia Foundation, the McGrath Foundation and the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
These fundraising events also add vibrancy to the Adelaide Hills, with the local community and visitors from the Barossa Valley and Adelaide all coming to support, enjoy and take part in the events.
Right now, Mahayla is pouring herself into a free motor vehicle fundraising event, Car & Bike Show N Shine, which will take place on October 13 in Mt Barker.
“I don’t want people to feel pressured to donate,” Mahayla says.
Local businesses are throwing their support behind the event, with sponsorships, donations and hampers pouring in to help make the show a success.
Mahayla is donating all the money towards the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
“What Mahayla has achieved since losing her nana is amazing,” says Cure Brain Cancer CEO Michelle Stewart.
“We are so grateful to her and the many incredible Australians like her around the country who raise vital funds and awareness for this cause.”
Mahayla is expecting more than 9000 people to attend the event and says the Mt Barker Council is hoping to make the show an annual occurrence.
“The Mt Barker Council has really got on board,” Mahayla says.
When she’s not fundraising, Mahayla dedicates her time to visiting cancer patients in the hospital and delivering bears of hope, a program she runs to support the McGrath Foundation.
Local community members donate new and pre-loved bears to the project, which are then sponsored for $5 and delivered to cancer patients in SA by Mahayla.
“I don’t want other families to go through what I went through,” Mahayla says.
“It’s nice to brighten their day a little.”
Her dedication certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed; in January the Mt Barker Council presented her with the 2018 Young Citizen of the Year award for her fundraising efforts.
Mahayla was also nominated as a Baton Bearer for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and ran part of the Queens Baton Relay in Hahndorf.
Mahayla’s commitment to fundraising shows no signs of slowing down.
“I just want to help find a cure for the cancer that took my nana.”
This story was first published by Brand South Australia for the Regional Showcase.Jump to next article