Sandy Ostini tribute: 'The quintessential volunteer' | Photos

I don’t remember a time when Sandy hasn’t been part of Cancer Council’s community presence, fundraising, advocacy or promotion.

She was the quintessential volunteer: someone who gave freely of her time for a cause she was passionate and committed, not only driven by personal experience, but because it was the right thing to do.

She could use her naturally effervescent personality, great networks and engaging presence to connect people and money for the common good.

Her driving energy and management of the major raffle as part of fundraising for Orange Relay for Life over more than 10 years cannot be understated, nor her childlike excitement and pleasure at spending the day connecting people to ‘yellow’ on Daffodil Day.

Cancer Council, our community and the lives of everyone she met and those that knew her are diminished by her loss.

She taught me the meaning of “no matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, never give up”.

There were many times the pressures of the working day were wearing me down, and the demands of staff, volunteers and interruptions took me away from my best self.

Sandy never changed her approach, she didn’t back away.

She modelled – in the most telling way – that remaining true to yourself, treating everyone as you would want to be treated yourself, and greeting everyone with courtesy and professionalism is what we should all do as the norm, not have to lift ourselves to it or fall below it.

RELAY FOR LIFE: Kyle, Frank, Sandy and Bryce Ostini. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI

RELAY FOR LIFE: Kyle, Frank, Sandy and Bryce Ostini. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI

She was an extraordinary example to me, and I often fell short.

There are many people who leave a mark of their time and place, and the world is better for having known them and shared in their energy, love, warmth, laughter, interested and compassion.

Sandy was one of them.

Cancer Council, our community and the lives of everyone she met and those that knew her are diminished by her loss, but strengthened by the fact we did know and work with her and benefitted from her enormous generosity of spirit and time.

For those of us that were with Cancer Council for many years, we also saw Kyle and Bryce grow from kindergarten fundraisers into fine young men who contribute to causes of their own with the same warmth of spirit, time and commitment.

I will remember all of them – Sandy, Frank, Kyle and Bryce – with much love and affection.

We shared many great laughs and achievements together, and I’m a much, much better person for having known Sandy and moved in her orbit.

Nella Powell – Events, health promotion, regional manager of Cancer Council NSW, 2004-2013

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