This year marks 33 years of Daffodil Day in New Zealand.

That is 33 years of our communities coming together to raise much-needed funds to support people facing cancer.

Daffodils have been symbolically linked to the fight against cancer for many years.

The daffodil is the first flower of spring — bringing light after cold, dark winter days and the hope of a new beginning.

Daffodil Day is on Friday, August 25.

Daffodil Day is when we are reminded of the value the Cancer Society adds to the community, and it’s a day for everyone to support this vital cause.

Every day, 71 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer, and an average of 750 families are dealing with the disease in Otago and Southland at any one time.

Daffodil Days now happen across the world, but New Zealand’s Daffodil Day was created by the Cancer Society in 1990.

The money raised not only goes to important research to help fight cancer, but also to help people suffering with the disease.

This years’ South Otago coordinator Joyce Beck has been a longtime supporter of the Cancer Society.

She was a driver for the society for many years, taking patients to treatments and attending meetings.

Now she has the role of assisting in getting daffodils out to businesses and collecting funds raised through Clutha district townships.

‘‘So many people have been affected by cancer. I don’t know a single family that hasn’t been touched somehow by the disease,’’ she said.

She said local businesses always got behind the cause and had ‘‘endless support’’ every year.

‘‘People are very supportive as everyone knows the impact cancer can have. Not just on one person, but on so many people.

‘‘It’s such an invasive thing to so many people, and so difficult to the people who go through it.’’

The Cancer Society and its local committees are extremely supportive of the day.

There would be no window competition in the district this year, where businesses dressed up to compete for the best yellow window

— but businesses were still ‘‘more than welcome’’ to do it and support Daffodil Day.

‘‘We’d absolutely love if everyone dressed up their windows and had the entire town bright and yellow in support of the Cancer Society,’’ Mrs Beck said.

‘‘It’s a great cause to get behind.’’

Raffles and donation boxes are in businesses at present if you would like to give to support the Cancer Society and cancer research.

Hard at work . . . Last year’s Daffodil Day volunteers prepare bunches of daffodils to sell in support of the Cancer Society. PHOTOS: EVELYN THORN