Pam Grabbe and the Soroptimists of Brisbane South raise money for MND research at QBI, in memory of their friend Margaret Austin. 

Losing a close friend to motor neurone disease (MND) was the impetus for Pam Grabbe and the Soroptimists of Brisbane South to join with QBI and raise funds for research into MND.

For years, Margaret Austin was a much loved and valued member of the Soroptimists, where she looked after the club’s social committee and worked with the global volunteer movement to help change the lives of women and girls.

“Margaret passed away with MND in 2008 and donated her brain to QBI to assist with research into the disease. Her passion was art so after her death we decided to hold an art show each year to raise funds to support research at QBI,” Pam said.

“We have held the exhibition for the past eight years, featuring a network of artists from South‑East Queensland and the watercolour and pastels societies in Brisbane. Through these art exhibitions, Margaret’s legacy lives on.

“We have raised close to $55,000 and last year had more than 700 people through the exhibition held on the Mother's Day weekend, which I am sure Margaret would have been thrilled with.

“We have a small committee, including Pat Redknap and Janette Best, who work hard to put the show together. Margaret’s partner, Ray Donaldson, is also a driving force, helping with the show and selling raffle tickets to raise extra funds.”

A date for the 2016 art show is still to be confirmed but Pam hopes people will continue to support the event to raise funds for crucial MND research and to keep Margaret’s memory alive.

“I’m sure Margaret would be proud of what we have done and be happy to know that her legacy will help those diagnosed with MND.”