Kaniva Cancer Council's 2019 biggest morning tea on Thursday doubled as its 30th anniversary celebration.
Original committee members, statewide representatives, school students and the Kaniva children's playgroup gathered at the town's Community Hub.
Founding president Dawn Maddern said the region had always dug deep and supported the group.
"There were so many of friends dying with cancer and getting cancer - my friend's three year old daughter was only three when she got cancer, and I thought someone had to do something about this, and we need to start raising money in Kaniva," she said.
"It was very hard in those days: 30 years ago we went by a lot of the rules the Cancer Council had created, so it was only a gold coin donation for morning teas, whereas today it's $12 entry. We used to have it in the shire hall supper room, and we ran street stalls and when the farmers had a sale we'd go there with our afternoon teas."
"Then I decided to get the Gown of the Year event to come in 1992, which was wonderful because we charged $20 a head and we fit 3600 people into the hall. We had no catwalk or carpet, so I went to a petrol dealer and got drums from him, washed them out and lined them up for the catwalk."
Current President Heather Wallis paid tribute to the original members of Kaniva Cancer Council who had passed away.
"A rough estimate of the money the group has raised in 30 years is $140,000," she said.
Cancer Council Victoria's community and special evens co-ordinator Rebecca Dash said more than 30 people in West Wimmera Shire were diagnosed with cancer each year.
"Your tireless efforts have had a big impact in reducing the overall impact of cancer," she told the crowd.
"You work in recent years coincides with advancements in treating and preventing cancer. The five year survival rate for all cancers is 60 per cent, up from 46 per cent in 1982."
In 2018, Cancer Council Victoria spent $54.6 million on cancer research, prevention programs and support services for those living with cancer.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.