News Details 

 650 PARTICIPANTS RAISE $ 1.25 Million
 In Inaugural WEEKEND TO END BREAST CANCER

The IWK & QEII benefit from dollars raised by participants in 2-day event

(Halifax, August 16) The IWK & QEII announced that 650 participants raised $1.25 million during the inaugural  Weekend to End Breast Cancer event in Halifax. The multi-day event brought a dedicated group of people from the community together in a bold statement in the fight to end breast cancer.

After an uplifting Opening Ceremony at the Halifax Garrison Grounds, walkers embarked on the first 39 kilometres of their walk throughout the HRM. Tonight, they camp under the stars in tent city. Their weekend journey ends tomorrow with an emotional Closing Ceremony at the Halifax Garrison Grounds at 3:00pm. Family, friends and supporters are invited to greet and cheer on the Walkers as they make their way to the finish.

“The hundreds of women and men who participate in this event are true heroes and demonstrate a great deal of courage and devotion to the fight against breast cancer. We are extremely grateful to our walkers, organizers, volunteers, donors and the entire community for their outstanding support,” explains Bill Bean, President and CEO of the QEII Foundation. “Together, we can make a difference in fighting this disease. Thanks to the community’s support, we can create programs and initiatives that will save lives,” states Robbie Shaw, President and CEO of the IWK Health Center Foundation.
 
“This is the first time this event has been held in Halifax, and already hundreds have gathered to fight against breast cancer. Their commitment is oustanding! The Weekend to End Breast Cancer will help us pursue a breast health centre and bring us closer to one day eliminating this disease,” says Sherry Porter, a two-time breast cancer survivor, Weekend walker and honourary chair of the event.
The Weekend to End Breast Cancer directly supports the joint initiative of the IWK and the QEII to advance Nova Scotia into a new era in the fight to end breast cancer.  Funds raised will be used to help create a world-leading breast health centre that will focus on prevention, reducing surgery wait times, improving treatment, and advancing research.
For more information about the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, please call (902)425-WALK or visit
www.endcancer.ca.

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The IWK Health Centre Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing Maritime families with the best care possible and has proved an essential resource for women, children, and families across Nova Scotia and beyond. The Foundation has used funding to purchase priority equipment, make capital improvements, and fund groundbreaking research, as well as support special programs and clinical education at the IWK Health Centre.
The QEII Foundation is a charitable organization established to benefit health care at the QEII, the region’s largest health care centre serving more people in Atlantic Canada than any other institution. The Foundation has funded equipment purchases, special projects, and research initiatives while positively impacting patient care, education, and research at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

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Weekend walkers successfully launch drive for a Breast Health Centre

Walkers cross finish line at Garrison Grounds today after completing the last steps of their 60 km journey

(Halifax, August 17) Yesterday, the IWK & QEII announced that 650 participants raised $1.25 million in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer® benefiting the IWK & QEII, a two-day 60 kilometre walk raising funds for a Breast Health Centre to focus on research, treatment and care for breast cancer right here in the Maritimes.

Walkers will walk a red carpet as they cross the finish line at Garrison Grounds the majority are expected to finish between 1 and 2pm today. The emotionally charged closing ceremonies begin shortly after the last walker crosses the finish line at 3pm

Walkers set out early yesterday morning after a motivational Opening Ceremony at Garrison Grounds. Hours later, they arrived at a “Tent City”, where they were greeted by hot showers, meals and  entertainment.

Hundreds of Volunteers and Crew Members are on hand to provide support over the course of the two day event including meals, water and snack stops, gear transport, portable restrooms, safety on the streets, and comprehensive medical services.

“All those who are taking part in this event are heroes. The volunteers, organizers, and local authorities have all ensured maximum security for the walkers; the courage and determination of all participants is truly impressive,” declared Robbie Shaw, President and CEO of the IWK Health Center Foundation . “The months of planning are reflected in all aspects of this event: whether it is the route and participant security, refreshments, or the excellent medical team we have on hand at the event to help walkers at all times with blisters, dehydration and any other medical needs.”

“This event is for those who want to make a bold statement in the fight against breast cancer, “explains Sherry Porter, Honourary Chair of the event, a two-time breast cancer survivor, and a walker. “My experience with the Weekend in Toronto showed me how participants, donors and the local community demonstrate not only their courage, but also their passion and determination in the fight against breast cancer”

Thanks to Weekend to End Breast Cancer, crucial and innovative research has been made possible all over Canada. The Weekend to End Breast Cancer directly supports the joint initiative of the IWK and the QEII to advance Nova Scotia into a new era in the fight to end breast cancer.  Funds raised will be used to help create a world-leading breast health centre that will focus on prevention, reducing surgery wait times, improving treatment, and advancing research.

For more information about the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, please call (902) 425-WALK or visit www.endcancer.ca.

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The IWK Health Centre Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing Maritime families with the best care possible and has proved an essential resource for women, children, and families across Nova Scotia and beyond. The Foundation has used funding to purchase priority equipment, make capital improvements, and fund groundbreaking research, as well as support special programs and clinical education at the IWK Health Centre.
The QEII Foundation is a  charitable organization established to strengthen health care at the QEII, the region’s largest health care centre serving more people in Atlantic Canada than any other institution. The Foundation has funded equipment purchases, special projects, and research initiatives while positively impacting patient care, education, and research at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

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A Message in Response to the Halifax Chronicle from QEII and IWK

On behalf of the Boards of Trustees of the IWK Foundation and the QEII Foundation, we are writing to help clarify a number of issues about the fundraising event The Weekend to End Breast Cancer that were brought forward in a recent article in the Chronicle-Herald. Prior to committing to The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, our respective boards, comprised of community and corporate leaders who volunteer their time, exhaustively reviewed both the event and the costs associated with producing it and unanimously voted to proceed with the event.  The compelling reasons are as follows:

The comprehensive breast health centre - a vision of the QEII Health Sciences Centre and the IWK - will have tremendous impact on breast cancer care. It will cut surgery wait times, place increase emphasis on early detection and prevention, and stimulate research that would otherwise not have taken place. The Weekend to End Breast Cancer will serve as a catalyst to help make this comprehensive breast health centre a reality, just as the event has served as the catalyst for a broad range of bold breast cancer initiatives in other centres across the country with notable and reputable partners such as the British Columbia Cancer Foundation, the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, the Princess Margaret Hospital, and the Jewish General Hospital - Segal Cancer Foundation. Thanks to the success of The Weekend to End Breast Cancer for these organizations, treatment advancements have been made like the acquisition of the first digital mammography equipment in British Columbia, digital screening facilities for 100 rural sites in Alberta, both a survivors' centre and a new breast MRI at Princess Margaret Hospital and breast cancer laboratories in Montreal. Available funding dollars for breast cancer research in provinces hosting The Weekend to End Breast Cancer has skyrocketed by as much as ten-times in some centres. Why wouldn't we want to join this list of successes here in Nova Scotia?

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is unlike any other fundraising event that has been conducted in Atlantic Canada. Its scope and size - two full days, teams of medical personnel and sweep vehicles for participants, meals, tents, hydration stations - are more complex than can easily be imagined. You have to be a part of it to realize its life-changing impact. The requirements for its successful production and ensuring the safe movement of hundreds of participants across 60 km of city streets require spending money. This is no different than in any of the other Canadian centres where The Weekend to End Breast Cancer has successfully raised over $160 million in its five year history. In order to ensure its success and safety for participants, we turn, as the other Canadian centres do, to the acknowledged experts to manage the logistics. CauseForce, which supports host organizations in all the cities hosting The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, charges a low flat fee for their service, hires local people, and are the experts in logistics for the event. They become an extension of our volunteers and staff. The fact that they are US-based is irrelevant - we need the experience and the cost-savings associated with economies of scale that only they can bring to the table.  All fundraising events cost something to produce, and The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is no different. Every effort is made to take advantage of those economies of scale and bring local sponsors on board. Over time, an annual event like The Weekend to End Breast Cancer can see its costs lower, as it has in other centres, but the first year in any centre is starting from ground-zero. Rest assured that the ratio of costs per dollar raised for the event here in Halifax are projected to be well within those generally accepted by the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and the Association of Fund Raising Professionals.

Finally, in other centres across the country, evidence indicates that the launch of The Weekend to End Breast Cancer has not negatively impacted other fundraising events like Relay for Life, or Run for the Cure. In some cases, it has actually helped increase participation by raising general awareness of breast cancer, reflective of the old adage that "a rising tide floats all ships".

We hope Maritimers will embrace The Weekend to End Breast Cancer and support it, and ask themselves just as we did when considering whether to host the event here in Halifax, "what would someone with breast cancer tell us to do?"

The creation of the proposed breast health centre is an initiative that will save lives and improve service for breast cancer patients.


The Honourable Constance Glube,
Chair, QEII Foundation Board of Trustees

Heather Sutherland,
Chair, IWK Health Centre Foundation



For media inquiries about The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, please call 866-324-2939