Count on the annual Hope Classic to continue to improve breast cancer care and treatment in the region.
The Bearskin Airlines Hope Classic delivered once again, raising $151,000 in its 18th year in support of the Linda Buchan Centre through the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
This year marked the 12th straight time the bonspiel raised more than $150,000, and event chair Sue Childs said the enduring success is a testament to the passion in the community.
“The women feel so strongly about fighting the disease and this event,” Childs said at the closing ceremonies at the Fort William Curling Club on Sunday.
“They work so hard all year for it and look how it pays off. There are teams that have yard sales and bake sales, there are companies that get together with the girls and do stuff and put all the money they raise into pledges.”
This year’s number pushes the event total past the $2.5 million mark since it started in 1997.
The top individual fundraiser was Susan Jones, who was able to amass $13,835.
“I had a lot of support from my work and family and friends, but probably the majority of my fundraising came from corporate donors,” she said.
“I’ve certainly been affected by breast cancer through family...I think we have the best state-of-the-art facilities here and I think it says so much for our community and the warmth and generosity of the city always amazes me.”
This year’s event had a special meaning to those who participated from the beginning as the 12-year-old granddaughter of the late Linda Buchan, the tournament founder, participated for the first time.
“It was exciting to be in it because I’m the youngest this year,” said Sydney Buchan.
“At first I was sad because I thought I would have had to wait longer but I didn’t so I’m happy.”
Childs added, “For those of us that were there from the beginning it’s amazing that here’s the third generation.
“When I was talking to (Sydney’s) great-grandma she said it was amazing 18 years ago we were watching Linda curl and here we are 18 years later watching Linda’s granddaughter curl.”
There were 48 teams that participated through the three-day bonspiel that also included lively parties in the evening as well as silent auctions.
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