Fundraiser nets big payday

More than 1,000 runners raise almost $200,000

Susanne Voetmann

Susanne Voetmann

The 13th annual CIBC Run for the Cure proved a lucky number on Sunday.

The five-kilometre run, which raises money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, attracted 1,099 participants, who raised more than $190,000.

More is expected to come in over the next few days, said run co-organizer Ruth Christmas.

“We’re right on target where we hoped to be,” she said.

Despite cloudy skies, the weather held off and the sun even made a guest appearance toward the end of the day for the closing ceremonies.

Families participated in activities like face painting and entertainment by Zigster the Trickster, while breast cancer survivors were treated to a special tent with raffles and other activities.

Runners warmed up with Zumba, a Latin-music based style of fitness class.

“It really helped bring everyone together,” Christmas said.

Although the 13th run for Nanaimo, Run for the Cure celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, while the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation marked its 25th year.

It was her first run as a director, but Christmas has been involved in Run for the Cure since 2006 while living in Calgary.

Her mother died from breast cancer when Christmas was just 11 years old, and after her daughter was born in 2005 she decided she needed to contribute to a cure and a world without breast cancer.

“It was always with me, living in fear of breast cancer,” Christmas said.

The day after the race, Christmas and the team of more than 50 volunteers were already brainstorming ideas for next year. Planning officially began in March and despite the heavy workload of planning such a large event, Christmas plans to return next year.

“I’ve loved every moment of it,” Christmas said.

The money raised from the Nanaimo run will stay in B.C. and provide money to researchers developing treatment and cure. In previous years, money raised stayed right on the Island, with some earmarked for researchers at the University of Victoria.

For more information on CIBC’s Run for the Cure, please visit www.runforthecure.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com