7th Annual Festival for Cancer Research Draws Crowd

Alanna Foell introduced us to The BBB (Bald! Breasts! Bands!). “Also known as the Barn Burner, [it] is an organization geared towards putting together a one day music festival with the intention of raising money for cancer research.” To raise the money, the group brings bands to perform then sells merchandise, food, and even has volunteers who shave their heads. Foell explained that The BBB was formed “after my brother and I lost our mother to breast cancer in 2008. We decided to turn our annual party into a charity event and give back to those in need.”

This year The BBB was raising money for “the Grand River Hospital Foundation as well as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation,” Foell said. They were able to raise $10,000. To bring people together, The BBB heavily relied on social media. They used their Facebook page, their Tumblr page, Twitter, their website, and their blog.

The tickets that Foell ordered from Eventgroove were given to key members of The BBB, as well as the bands who were performing. Foell said, “Because this was the first year we had physical tickets we didn’t sell a lot but enough to help cover a few initial costs. However, they were also available at the door and it was a great way to keep track of how many people attended.” Foell said a big draw was the amazing music they were able to provide this year. “The music this year was incredible, as we had some amazing bands from around southwest Ontario,” Foell said.

An incredible accomplishment Foell shared was her being awarded the Returning Community Events Volunteer Award by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation at last year’s festival. “It was an incredible honour to be recognized for the work that myself (and all the volunteers—don’t get me wrong, I could never do it all myself) put in. The part that always impresses me is the respect and kindness that people seem to bring. Everyone is just there for a good time and we’ve never had any serious issues. It’s a real community event; everyone is always willing to lend a hand. We have some great volunteers that give up their time to help us out,” Foell said.

Every year Foell and The BBB learn something new about how to better plan the festival. Foell advises that “It never hurts to start early. This year’s event isn’t even fully finished and already we are planning what we can do next year. Learn from your mistakes, and be willing to embrace change. Know what works and what doesn’t. Never be afraid to ask for advice from people who’ve done similar things.”