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Everest challenge inspires Nelson community

Contributor
By Contributor
March 17th, 2017

The ski community took the fight against cancer to high elevation this winter, raising over $100,000 through Slopes for Hope in B.C.

The Nelson version of the Mount Everest challenge, hosted at Whitewater Ski Resort March 4, contributed $10,500 to the total raised for the Canadian Cancer Society between six participating locations across the province.

The family friendly ski-a-thon encouraged participants to gather a team and attempt to ski/board the vertical distance of Mount Everest in one day (29,029 feet of vertical).

“Slopes for Hope Whitewater 2017 was my first time volunteering for this event, and I am happy to have had the opportunity,” says Michelle Sylvest, event chair.

“Being able to draw on the enthusiasm of local volunteers – including members of the Nelson Killjoys – was key to making this event an organizational success.

“Local businesses offered up a bounty of goods and services, and we were so pleased to be able to treat our participants right,” she adds.

“Most importantly, the fundraising efforts of our participants yielded a sizable donation to the Canadian Cancer Society. I’m already thinking of ways we can make this event better next year!”

This event has been a huge success in Nelson since its inception in 2012, contributing over $52,000 toward supporting individuals living with cancer.

Money raised through Slopes for Hope supports a variety of Canadian Cancer Society initiatives and support programs, which are accessed by West Kootenay residents.

In the Southern Interior Region in 2015-16, the Canadian Cancer Society helped:

  • 210 individuals with financial assistance for travel and accommodation during treatment
  • 1,352 individuals with convenient, affordable accommodation in our Southern Interior Rotary Lodge
  • 775 individuals accessed up-to-date information about cancer and local services through Cancer Information Service
  • 112 individuals found emotional assistance from trained cancer survivors through our CancerConnection program
  • 42 children and youth felt empowered through a fun recreational camp (Camp Goodtimes)

Funds raised through the Canadian Cancer Society also support excellence in research projects, including one led by B.C.’s Dr. Rachel Murphy, who is studying the links between nutrition, body weight, and cancer to find ways to promote healthy lifestyles among Canadians.

Because the Society knows about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight, Dr. Murphy’s study has application to many different types of cancers.

Slopes for Hope Whitewater could not have been possible without the 30 participants who signed up and raised funds and awareness by taking the challenge and asking friends and family to get behind their efforts.

“There were some participants who used the event as a means to remember or honour a loved one and with that brought on a special meaning,” adds Valerie Rossi, Annual Giving Coordinator.

“It was a pleasure to work with  a great group of volunteers and celebrate the day with such a giving and supportive community of people.”

The Society is now preparing for its notable campaign held throughout April, also known as Daffodil Month, where the bright daffodil pins are available, corporate pre-order daffodil cuts are sold, and door-to-door canvassing is underway throughout West Kootenay communities.

Photo Caption: Slopes for Hopes at Whitewater Ski Resort was a tremendous success for the fight against Cancer. — Submitted photo

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