Airdrie to host breast cancer fundraiser
Pink will be taking over the Chinook Winds Ballpark, Aug. 11, for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s (CBCF) Batting Against Breast Cancer annual slo-pitch fundraiser. Founded in Edmonton in 2003, the tournament takes place in five locations every year, including Winnipeg, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Regina and Edmonton. For the past four years, Airdrie has hosted the Calgary tournament.
“It took off (from Edmonton) and it’s been doing really well,” said Laura Reynolds, development officer with the CBCF. “It keeps growing.”
Last year, the five tournaments combined to raise more than $480,000 for the CBCF with $140,000 coming from the Calgary tournament. Seventeen teams are already entered into the tournament, and Reynolds said they are accepting last-minute entries. Teams were required to raise $2,500 in advance of the tournament, but those that enter at the last minute can continue to fundraise after the weekend. Reynolds is hoping this year’s event raises $150,000. Over the four years Airdrie has hosted the event, it has grown to include more than just a slo-pitch tournament. A pancake breakfast will take place the morning of the tournament and throughout the day there will be raffle and 50/50 ticket sales and kids’ play area.
The colour pink has become a widely-recognized symbol for breast cancer awareness and Reynolds said the pink outfits teams wear have become important.
“Everyone gets into the spirit and it’s a lot of fun to dress up. There’s lots going on (throughout the day) and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.
This year, Diane Martin, a breast cancer survivor from Calgary, will also be speaking at the event. Martin was first diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2000 and for a second time in 2007. She has been in remission since November 2007 and has volunteered at the Batting Against Breast Cancer event for four years.
“It’s such a wonderful event,” she said. “Everyone has such a great time and raising funds (for CBCF) helps with their vision of creating a world that’s cancer free. I’m living proof that the funds collected are working. The last time I went through chemotherapy, (the doctors) used drugs on me that they never would have known about if it wasn’t for organizations like the CBCF.”
Martin also said she likes that the event is a family-friendly affair, as her family was always by her side during her treatment and recovery.
“My husband and my sister were with me through every treatment,” she said. “They never left my side and they gave me hope to go on. If I had to cry, I could cry. I see that at (the batting event). Most of the people that are there are really there because of someone they know.”
For more information on Batting Against Breast Cancer or to register a team, visit www.cbcf.org