The Sudbury CIBC Run for the Cure kicked off at longtime fundraising supporter Cambrian Ford today with a huge announcement, followed by a list of speakers whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.
From now until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Sept. 13, 2018, every donation in support of the CIBC Run for the Cure will be matched by CIBC, dollar for dollar, up to $500,000.
Robert Giroux, general manager of CIBC at Southridge Mall said that donation matching and raising funds for the Run is a great way to give back. The enthusiasm with which CIBC employees participate has been inspiring.
"It's something that, if you go into any of our banking centres — you'll see they are decorated, we have fundraisers going on, that the Run is well-supported," Giroux said.
Not only will branch staff encourage members of the public to participate in the Sept. 30 event, they will create their own teams to raise funds beyond the working week. In 2017, 15,000 Team CIBC members volunteered, walked, ran and raised more than $3 million in support of breast cancer research, contributing to a total of $17 million raised by run participants across Canada last year.
According the event website, the CIBC Run for the Cure began as a joint initiative between CIBC and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). Last year, CBCF and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) joined forces under the CCS banner.
"We're very excited about the announcement that was made today by the CIBC and we look forward to anyone that will be making a donation online, to do it in the next two days," said Cathy Keaney-Burns, senior manager at the Canadian Cancer Society Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie office about the CIBC pledge to match online donations today and tomorrow.
Above and beyond the contributions made to support breast cancer research, health education and advocacy programs, the Run has also become an opportunity for cancer patients to connect with one another and to those who are committed to the cause.
Pam Pancel is one of those people who made a connection through the fundraiser. This year will be her 19th year of participating. Pancel ran for the first time back in 1999 with her dear friend, Myra. Less than a year after the two first participated in the run, Myra was diagnosed with breast cancer. They continued to run on the same team.
Since her passing in 2011, Myra's helpful, encouraging and strong spirit has been remembered in the determination award that is given out each year.
"Myra was such an advocate. She was just strong. Like Pam, she was able to see the funny things," said former run director, committee member, and breast cancer survivor Stephanie Koett at the launch. For her, research, prevention and education are important goals to strive toward; more important than that, is a cancer patient's need to connect with people who care or are experiencing similiar challenges — as survivors and as family members and friends.
"It's important to look at it from the support perspective. We need to have support and to accept the support we have," said Koett. "People like Pam, people like my husband, there's no words to describe what they did for us."
Koett and Pancel were actually unknown to each other until they met at a Run one year.
"Ever since then, if I need something, I can reach out for her and vice versa," Koett said. "No one should be alone going through treatment, and through cancer and breast cancer."
The 2018 CIBC Run for the Cure takes place on Sept. 30 at Cambrian College, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. and the run starting at 10 a.m.