St. James CWL held their 18th annual Pink Night for Breast Cancer Awareness, Oct. 16, at St. James Church in Wilkie.
As guests came into the lower hall, they were greeted with a warm and welcoming, beautifully decorated hall. A silver collection basket was at the entrance and beside it was the prayer box table, where people could put the name of persons who are battling cancer, beaten cancer or unfortunately succumbed to the disease. The box would not be opened, but at the end of the evening a special prayer was read for them.
Tables were decorated in pink tablecloths with lovely centre pieces and guests enjoyed the delicious “Pink Nite” drink as they walked around the room, looking at the lovely door prizes, the many beautiful silent auction items which were donated by individuals and local and area businesses. Guests put in their tickets in the gift bags for the door prizes, hoping their number would be called during the evening. Another part of the evening was the jewelry boxes. which were $5 apiece, with five of the boxes containing beautiful jewelry donated by home-based businesses. The winners, much to their delight, went home with some very nice early Christmas presents. The “10X Your Donation” fundraiser was also very popular. Guests put in an amount of money, no more than $20, and the winner would take home the amount times ten. An excited young lady, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, was the winner taking home extra spending money. The guests were generous as they knew the monies raised went to a very special cause.
In the past 18 years, St. James CWL has raised over $40,000 for breast cancer awareness and research. There was usually one guest speaker for the evening, telling about their battle, but this year, five ladies from the Battleford Union Hospital spoke on the foundation, mammogram program and the Community Cancer Agency at BUH.
Claudette Maguire, representing the BUH Foundation, spoke about the ways the foundation has been able to raise money to help with the purchase of equipment such as the new CT scanner, helping to increase the use and size of the mammogram department, getting specialists to come to BUH, and many other important items that are needed to ensure the best possible care for patients in Battleford and area. They also were able to increase the size and necessary items for the Community Cancer Agency at BUH, which is the second busiest unit in the province, allowing patients who need chemo to have it there, making for less travelling time for cancer patients.
The technicians in charge of the mammogram and medical imagining unit talked about the process of getting a mammogram done, how the procedure works, explaining to patients what the next step is and how they are always on hand to make the procedure easier for the patients. This “hands-on” expertise is important to those who may be diagnosed with breast cancer.
The nurses of the Community Cancer Agency unit explained how the chemo medicine is made in house and that it is completely safe. They also spoke about the fact that having this service closer to home made it so much easier not only for the patient but for the family, as those battling cancer do not need any extra stress in their lives.
With the amalgamation of the health districts into one province-wide unit means that BUH serves over 85,000 people as it is one of two regional hospitals in the area.The role of the foundation in fundraising is ongoing with lotteries, golf tournaments, radio-o-thons and other exciting and entertaining events. Maguire also stressed that every dollar raised for the fundraisers goes into BUH and the programs not only for people of the Battlefords but the 85,000 plus that they serve.
The evening continued with delicious food and drink, the awarding of the door prizes and silent auction winners and closed with a prayer for all those whose names were placed in the prayer box.
This year’s Pink Nite, with approximately 145 people attending, raised over $4,500 with 75 per cent going to the mammogram unit at BUH and 25 per cent to the Breast Health Centre in Saskatoon. The members of the St. James CWL work hard every year to put on Pink Nite and appreciate the continued support of the community and district. Breast cancer can be beaten with everyone’s support. This article was written in memory of my late Aunt Sylvia Duhaime who, although she lost her battle, would insist everyone continue to help to find a cure.