Thursday, 28 September 2017

Many important fundraisers planned by Canadian Cancer Society

Cool Runnings and Grand Desserts are just 2 important local events

Buy a pink ribbon at assist in the raising money and awareness 

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is a large umbrella organization, which is working very hard to fund the best research projects in this country – working very hard to find a cure for many cancers.
Locally, the CCS of Oxford County has its many programs which require funding, including advocacy and education for cancer patients, and a volunteer driver program to assist clients in attending medical appointments to specialists and for chemotherapy.
Earlier in 2017, the CCS nationwide focus changed somewhat as the association merged with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF).

This combined charity has created even more emphasis on the many tasks for CCS volunteers, which quite honestly means the CCS requires more volunteers – more people donating time and money, more energy, more creativity for fundraising, and more overall awareness for its varied projects.
I can think of 5 areas of focus for the fall.
Selling pink ribbons in grocery stores and elsewhere for breast cancer awareness and monetary contributions.
Selling piggy banks to decorate to support the volunteer drivers program.
Promoting Cool Running in Roth Park as both a cross-country trail race and family fun.
Promoting the annual CIBC Run For A Cure, which has always had its predominate concentration on the breast cancer foundation, but as mentioned has now joined forces with the CCS. London, Kitchener and Simcoe host Run For A Cure events.
Selling tickets and organizing the wonderful annual Grand Desserts event.

Amalgamating the CCS with CBCF. Excerpt from February press release:
On February 1, 2017, CCS and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) joined forces to increase operational efficiencies and further our impact on cancer research and support programs. Over the past 30 years, CCS has invested $1.2 billion in cancer research – including over $100 million in breast cancer research. Since its inception in 1986, CBCF has invested over $360 million in breast cancer research, funding more than 1,400 scientific and community grants. This unprecedented merger allows the new Canadian Cancer Society to accelerate the impact of donor dollars on cancer research and vital support services for people living with and affected by cancer. Visit for more information.
“Together, we are committed to doing things more efficiently, and our merger will redefine the cancer charity sector in Canada,” says Robert Lawrie, Chair of the Board of Directors, Canadian Cancer Society. “In order to continue our work towards our vision of a world where no Canadian fears cancer, consolidation is the most responsible option. It will allow us to eliminate expensive duplication of efforts and to focus our donors’ funding on cancer research, information, advocacy and support programs.”
With Canadians facing an almost 40 per cent surge in cancer cases by 2030, this groundbreaking amalgamation allows CCS to amplify the impact of donor dollars on vital support services and cancer research, and improve the way it helps people living with and affected by cancer.
I realize we are all busy with work, family and other commitments, but if you have any spare time, please contact the CCS of Oxford office in Woodstock today at 65 Springbank North.
(519) 537-5592.
Twitter: @ccsoxfordcounty or @rflwoodstock

Cool Runnings is not unique to Woodstock as a CCS fundraiser as similar races take place in other centres, but the Roth Park venue on the south shore of Pittock Lake (Thames River) lends itself very well to a cross-country meet.
The 2017 Relay For Life event at CASS high school raised over $140,000. Combined efforts made a difference - each playing a small role in the local Cancer Society community office and its staff led by Jan Cunningham, Pam Noels and many volunteers.

 Purchase a Daffodil in April

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Cargill team receives provincial recognition

Muriel's Dream Team began in 2004 and has raised more than $245,000
Relay For Life Champion Award went to only 3 teams in Ontario in 2017  
Great News!
A Woodstock tem in Relay For Life has earned provincial recognition from the Canadian Cancer Society.
Congratulations to: CARGILL
Here is part of the speech Jan Cunningham gave from the CSS Oxford community office to the terrific Cargill team members.

Last year at Relay For Life in Woodstock, we presented Cargill -- Agribrands Purina with a well-deserved Community Award of Celebrating Impact in Relay For Life – Team.
Today, we are extremely proud to present an even more prestigious award to the whole family of Agribrands (I understand now Cargill), a provincial award, one of only three in the province, the 2017 Relay For Life Champion Award – Team. This award is offered to a team that embodies the spirit of Relay For Life and serves as a model for other teams in terms of revenue generation, community engagement and mission integration. 
Pictured: Emma Lebinger (from left), Sally Bradley and Jan Cunningham.

Since 2004, Muriel’s Dream Team from Agribrands/Cargill has contributed $245,000 to critical life-saving cancer research and support programs for people with cancer and their families through the Canadian Cancer Society. The team began in honour of a very beloved valued employee, Muriel, and has continued over the years growing stronger, and never giving up hope. 
Each one of you on the team over the years, along with Cargill, have contributed to this total through the fundraising efforts that go on relentlessly throughout the year here at Cargill and beyond. Your team of volunteers who organizes these fundraisers as members of the Agribrands / Cargill / Muriel’s Dream Team, work endlessly to raise the much-need funds to fight back against cancer. 
CCS Info:
By 2030 – which is only 13 years away, the incidence rate of cancer is estimated to rise 40%. So the need is never more urgent. And it is working! Today, more than 60% of those diagnosed survive cancer as compared with 25% in the 1940s. The Canadian Cancer Society commends all of the Cargill family for making a difference, for continuing to make an impact against cancer. Thank you so very much.
Poster from 2015

Friday, 2 June 2017

Sponsors are a key member of the Relay 'community'

Volunteers are everywhere at CCS's Relay For Life

Local businesses assist in making sure Relay is successful

At our Relay For Life meetings we often talk about volunteers and community.
Every facet of the term 'community' can be seen in fundraising efforts by all our terrific volunteers. Everyone at Relay For Life is a volunteer except for the CCS Oxford manager Jan Cunningham and she has 5 Relay events to monitor.
Community is your neighbourhood, your village, your co-workers, teammates on your ball team, family and friends. Community is also the overall efforts contributed by hundreds of people in Oxford County to Relay For Life as we have always had strong support from a group in Hickson and also the 4-H Community (See link below) team, and many others from Woodstock and beyond.
Community is about the astounding volunteer efforts by many involved with the Canadian Cancer Society locally, including Marie Bowerman, John Hunt, Sandy Smith, Deb Moss, Linda Torkelson, Tracey Thompson and so many others.
Community is also most certainly our event sponsors, who we thank now and will thank again after Relay on June 9.
Event Sponsor is:
Luminary Sponsor

Food Tent Sponsors

Logistics Sponsors

Media Sponsors

More More Important Sponsors Noted Below:


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Relay For Life has 28 teams registered for June 9 event

Canadian Cancer Society major fundraiser is counting down the days to June 9 at CASS

You still have time to register at

The countdown is on!
Relay For Life in Woodstock has set goals for 30 teams and 300 participants this year for Relay at CASS on June 9 (7 p.m. – 1 a.m.).
Our latest tally has our annual Canadian Cancer Society major fundraiser rally at 28 teams, but only 167 registrants. Now is a good time to call your friends and family and increase the size of your team so we can attain both goals.
Relay is all about ‘Community’. It’s the community of Oxford County and Woodstock doing its best to raise money to find a cure for cancer and support our nation’s best research projects and clinical trials. Your community is your household, your neighbourhood, your work place, your church, your school . . . and your city/village.

Our nation is also important as this is the year of Canada150 and the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay in Woodstock encourages everyone to wear red and white, and we will have theme laps for wearing those colours so bring everything you own that is red and white to clad your clan. The red-and-white laps will include Canadian music . . . Who do you want to hear? Bryan Adams, Justin Bieber, Serena Ryder, Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Stompin Tom, Terri Clark, the Guess Who, or ?.
There will also be theme laps for donning crazy toques and hats. Relay this year in Woodstock is also bringing back the Scrabble game where your team earns letters each lap and then you spell words for points and prizes.

The entertainment roster has been finalized for the 2017 event and it promises to be a great mix as the Norwich Society Band will play live as you set up your tents and register. They will also play the national anthem during the opening ceremony (7 p.m.).
Three live bands will follow the Survivors Victory Lap, including Teachers Pet returning from last year’s roster. They’re a unique group as it consists mostly of CASS teachers and faculty. I’m not sure we will give them an A+ on their report card as Relay will be their exam time, but for Canada’s 150th birthday we will give them a solid Eh!
HAMRD is a Woodstock area band also performing.
After 11 p.m., when things begin to get quiet, you’ll be enjoying the live music from Jack London and friends. Our participation surveys we compiled did indicate that Relayers wanted more country music. London is a very accomplished John Denver cover-band singer and he also has a roster of other country singers he will bring with him.
Besides fun theme laps and live music, maybe the best addition to the fun fundraising at Relay is the Hamster Ball soccer where you and a group of friends can play soccer, but you’re actually inside large bouncy balloons. Our committee would agree that this activity is even more laugh-a-minute than sumo soccer, and is comparable to Dunk Tank fishing.
Tradition at Relay is creating your own necklace from the beads you pick up on each lap. This tradition will again be an important part of Relay.   

Registration begins at 4:30 and dinner is always served (beginning) before 6 (and available until 8 or later) so plan on attending early. Most teams have camp site areas already assigned. (Comedic Note: By the way, we do this to avoid sumo soccer as teams would jostle for best position on the track’s infield).
The popular button station returns in the registration tent as we want to know how many years you have been a Relay participant. Be sure to bring your final money donations and pledge sheets for the banking committee to count in the CASS cafeteria.
As for the food, it’s the same super fare as last year with Boston Pizza supplying pasta and Swiss Chalet has chicken sandwiches. We expect to serve almost 500 meals, but that includes our wonderful cancer survivors and their caregivers, volunteers, participants, musicians, popcorn makers and clowns.
A preliminary schedule for the night is included here, so you will note that Domino’s Pizza will provide late-night pizza slices. There will also be Tim Hortons (Thanks again Leslie Farrell), and cookies and snack from No Frills.
The kids’ activities (6 – 8:30) are an important part of Relay as our ‘Community’ of cancer fundraisers includes everyone in a family.
At the Survivors Tent, there will be a photographer, cupcakes as supplied by the CASS students, tickets (silent auction participation) available for an amazing quilt (to be sold at Grand Desserts on Oct 24).

Relay For Life requires volunteers for many tasks, including people to sell luminaries at local grocery store on June 2. Call 519 537-5592.
The luminary sales program includes the Saturday morning market at the fairgrounds and many churches.
The star of luminary promotions is Scotiabank as they will meet all the donations received from their 2 local branches.
If you’re reading this and simply want to assist the overall efforts with your time at Relay, you may also volunteer in the food tent, with the writing of names on the luminary bags, with the setting up of chairs and tables, or serving cupcakes. If you love construction, be at CASS at 9 a.m. as we build the stage and the start/finish signage, and put up the smaller tents. Give us a call today!
Cancer Changes Everything. So Can You.

Canadian Cancer Society
18th Annual                 Relay For Life
College Avenue Secondary School – Woodstock
Friday, June 9, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Facebook ‘Group’: Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life in Woodstock
Twitter Hashtags: #WhyIRelay #AcceptTheBaton or #ReadySetRelay
CCS Oxford Community Office: 65 Springbank Ave North
(519) 537-5592


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Linda Torkelson named Community Champion for Woodstock's Relay

Norwich-area resident is a breast cancer survivor and dedicated CCS volunteer

Torkelson believes strongly in local initiatives such as Wheels Of Hope volunteer drivers

The Relay For Life committee in Woodstock didn’t have to look too far to find its ‘Community Champion’ for 2017.
A community champion is someone who dedicates many hours as a volunteer, but is also a spokesperson for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) cause and Linda Torkelson fits both categories.
The Norwich-area resident is a cancer survivor and has been a member of the organizing committee for several years, including as chair of the sub-committee to plan happenings around the survivors’ tent.
Linda Torkelson

As a cancer survivor, Linda has the compassion and empathy to assist anyone at the survivors’ tent and is always very proud to also participate in the survivors’ lap at Relay, which is a walk about camaraderie and conquering cancer, a lap of yellow t-shirts marking the end of the opening ceremony.
The survivors’ tent recently added a noteworthy idea. Various colours of sand representing various types of cancer are poured into a large vase by those in attendance who have defeated cancer. The layered vase is very symbolic.
The empathy role on the survivors’ committee is integral as many participating at Relay For Life are continuing treatments and Linda is quick to supply encouragement.
On Heart FM, Torkelson talked about current CCS educational and volunteer projects on both the national and local level, and looked back at a significant CCS accomplishment.
"Like the Wheels of Hope, driving cancer patients to and from their cancer appointment, the peer support program and also advocacy on the national level. It's amazing, we advocated for a smoke-free workplace and we achieved that, that's a testimony of what Relay For Life is and what the Canadian Cancer Society does," she said. 
You will be able to watch Linda Torkelson on the Rogers TV show Daytime Oxford, by checking out this link:
Here’s Linda’s story. . .
Linda will appear this week on Daytime Oxford on Rogers TV

By Linda Torkelson
Printed with permission.
My life after cancer - After being diagnosed with breast cancer when our daughter was only 10 months old, my life changed or at least was redirected. A new house, new baby and getting back into the work force; these were life changing elements within themselves. Throw cancer into the mix and you have one stunned, emotional, worried new mother, not knowing what is going to happen.
Doctors telling you about your prognosis and options for treatment, a husband that is alarmed, angry and panicked; parents that just want to hold you like you were five; family and friends that are just as stunned and scared, -- all seeking to find the words to console.
Actually, people from all directions were aiming to help in some way.
What will I do? How do I carry on? What's next?
Well, I asked for help; first from God then from my family and friends. If you know me, then you know I can be a little obstinate but this was something that I could not do alone and I think giving people the opportunity to help gave them an ease about the entire diagnosis and how to approach me directly.
I'm not a shy person, or at least not anymore. I have been from the very beginning open about this journey, which I infallibly did not ask or want to travel on, but here I am.
How I approached cancer, head on, would assist how I was going to beat cancer and live with all that it bestowed upon me.
Staying alive is absolute and when something threatens it without your consent, the warrior in you with baring teeth and fists clenched is revealed.
I had a daughter that needed a mother. I was not going to show her what defeat looked like.
I had a husband that needed to know that I was going to be around to help raise her. We had dreams and cancer put a wrench into those but that was not going to break or prevent us from living life.
I didn't know what was in store from one day to the next and grasping for some kind of control can be exhausting. Living a life with purpose and hope -- without fear -- is my goal and I can only pray that others can feel the same way after a cancer diagnosis. I am also not immune to facts that cancer takes lives. I have seen friends and family die from this disease, notably my niece of 35 last September from pancreatic cancer; it devastates. 
The Canadian Cancer Society can give hope; from prevention and awareness to research. From information and support the CCS is there. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit 
Cancer Changes Everything. So Can You.

This is why I Relay.

Don't Forget
Information Night is Wednesday, May 3
Plan to attend if you would like to #AcceptTheBaton 
and join Relay For Life