“One of my father’s sisters is a fifteen year breast cancer survivor”, says the 2008 Run Director for Collingwood’s Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure event Jen Nichol.
“I’m involved because after I lost my Dad to cancer, I vowed to do my part to help create a future without breast cancer. I have two small daughters, so working with the CIBC Run for the Cure event was a great place to start,” Nicol says. “I want my daughters to grow up in a world where they don't have to worry about Breast Cancer, or any other cancer for that matter. If I can play a role in raising awareness and funds to find a cure, that will be my part!”
Collingwood has been an official Run site since 2005. Since then, the Collingwood run site has hosted roughly 700 participants annually and the event has raised over $315,000 in total. The number of teams entered is growing steadily and with it, the awareness and education about breast cancer.
Teams Manager Shelby Worts says that, “Collingwood is also becoming a preferred destination for sports teams and friends and family to participate in the event. We’re a very family oriented site and welcome dogs as well so many teams choose Collingwood because of our “friendly factor”. Last year we hosted Fanshawe College’s Women’s Basketball Team at our event and many of the larger urban centre folks choose to come to Collingwood for the weekend to check out our site. There’s less hassle with traffic and parking and a more relaxed feel to the Run/Walk.”
Run organizers also work with the Collingwood Blues Jr. Hockey team to educate the public about healthy breasts at special “PINK” games. The focus is on maximizing team participation and as a result the fundraising dollars come in as a by-product rather than a “must”.
Jill Usher, the first Collingwood Site Run Director took on a pioneering role because, “I was interested in supporting the mission of the CIBC Run for the Cure, and bringing it to Collingwood, because I believe in, and truly hope for a future without breast cancer. And, all other forms of cancer, for that matter. I did it for the many men and women in my life, who have battled with cancer, and especially for my daughter, whom I hope will be one of millions who will benefit from today's research, which is building a foundation towards creating a future without breast cancer."
Last year’s Run Director for Collingwood’s event was Laura Woodhouse. Woodhouse led the charge with gusto for another two years of tireless work on behalf of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. “The organizing team is a small, but mighty group of very keen women. Larger sites have organizing teams more than twice the size of ours, but with such a giving community, it’s easier to keep it small and friendly. Our site brings in participants and teams from Owen Sound, right through to Wasaga Beach and area. And, everyone in town gives to every fundraiser so we are blessed with engaged and active sponsors”, says Woodhouse.