THIS year one of the Manning and Great Lakes' best loved businesses celebrates its 80th birthday and what better way to mark the occasion than to continue the family tradition of giving back to the community that's given them so much.
Yarads and in more recent years, Iguana, has always been committed to supporting the wider community in a range of capacities, from sponsoring sports teams through to donations to charities, and with their birthday fast approaching owners Michael Yarad and Jo-Anne Cumming decided to mark the occasion with their biggest donation to date.
"It's been instilled in us over the years that supporting the local people who have allowed our business to prosper is so important and should be a priority," explained Jo-Anne.
"So when it was time to think of a way to mark our 80th birthday we thought it would be wonderful to make a big donation to a local charity that specifically supports local people."
"We've seen the amazing work CanAssist has been doing for local people and it really was an easy decision to make," continued Michael.
Yarads has donated $20,000 to Can Assist, a grass roots, community based charity dedicated solely to supporting country people affected by cancer and their families.
For over 57 years the organisation has been supporting country cancer patients through their 50-plus branches in country towns across rural and regional NSW that are operated by 2900 local volunteers.
The Taree branch opened in 2012 and is run by a group of local women who have a history of giving back to the Manning community.
President Melinda Allan and her team are driven and passionate about helping people during the hard times and they were drawn to Can Assist as all the money raised by the local branches stays in their local area, specifically for their local people.
"We really wanted to keep it local and have a bit more control of where the money was going," Melinda said.
"Now we're in control and the money will help men, women, children and their families who are fighting cancer."
"We'll help with whatever they need," Melinda explained.
"It might be day-to-day expenses like the groceries or one-off necessities like car registration. We don't want people to stress about anything.
"Most people just make do and this can lead to cuts in other places but we want to make sure that life can go along as normal as possible and support the whole family."
Due to travel and accommodation expenses, it can easily cost a country family affected by cancer up to five times more than a city family just to access treatment. The reality is that many country mums and dads simply can't afford treatment, let alone the weeks spent away from their family and work.
Melinda and her team were "blown away" when Michael and Jo-Anne came to them with their donation.
"On behalf of all the local families we support, Can Assist manning Valley would like to personally thank the Yarad family for their generous support," said Melinda.
"This is a wonderful example of local business supporting their local community and the money will have a huge impact on the local people who are affected by cancer."