Melva?s a sweetie in assisting charities
NO-ONE is as sweet as Melva Lynch.
For almost 20 years, the 73year-old Gracemere resident has spent late nights and early mornings making fresh cakes, scones and lollies to raise funds for charities and community organisations.
Her fruit cakes helped the Heart Foundation and her date cakes helped the Fred Hollows Foundation.
Her sweet and popular caramel tarts assisted the Gracemere and St Paul's Preschools and her delicious jams supported the Queensland Cancer Fund.
The mother of nine (five daughters and four sons) started helping charities in 1969 by raising funds for two of her daughters in the Miss Fitzroy competition.
A cup of determination, a sprinkle of love and a hint of help was the recipe Mrs Lynch took with her everywhere.
From 1974, Mrs Lynch said, she ran hoy at the Gracemere Hall for four years before helping at Gracemere Gardens in 1978.
And in 1985 Mrs Lynch really cooked up a storm and started her very own sweets stall to help one of her daughters raise funds for the Nurse of the Year awards.
"It was not easy looking after nine children, but a lot of people gave me the help I needed to get there,'' she said.
"By 1986, I wanted to return that help by raising funds for local charities.''
For 161/2 years, Mrs Lynch spent most of her days in the kitchen preparing her sweetsstall.
Every Saturday she would sell her home cooking on Stewarts Corner in East Street, Allenstown and later in Gracemere.
"I would be up at 1am cooking fresh scones,'' she said.
"The profits I made went to the Heart Foundation, The Cancer Fund, Alzheimers, Fred Hollows Foundation, the Rural Fire Brigade, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Gracemere and St Paul's Preschools, Gracemere Pensioners League, Little Athletics and Gracemere's Swimming Pool.''
No longer holding her sweets stall, Mrs Lynch now keeps her hands busy by knitting trauma teddies for the Red Cross.
"It feels good to be able to help others with what you are good at doing,'' she said.