Family Event Helps Fund the Alberta Cancer Foundation

Good causes abound, but it’s always easy to dedicate yourself to one when it touches on something personal. Stacie Woytowich and The Melan Heads held the Spring Fling Family Fun Thing on May 31 at the Sand Hills Community Center in Spruce Grove, AB to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF). The Melan Heads are a team of cyclists participating in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer which supports ACF.

Woytowich became involved in the bicycle ride after the 2006 death of her sister, Lori Melan, from liver and pancreatic cancer. “She was an avid cyclist,” Woytowich remembers, “so when the ride came to Alberta, I knew this was the best way to honour her memory. My niece saw an ad and called me to say we should do it. I agreed, and I’ve done the ride every year since.”

The ACF strives to “make Alberta the leader in cancer prevention research and care.” The non-profit is the fundraising partner for all of Alberta’s cancer centres and they invest solely in “ideas that will deliver results to cancer patients.” They invest over $15 million every year in research to “reduce the incidence and impact of cancer” by trying to improve the understanding of risk factors, getting people diagnosed earlier, improving interventions, treatments, quality of life during treatment and after care, and reducing the recurrence of cancer.

This year’s Enbridge Ride, August 9-10, takes cyclists along the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains. They provide assistance in training and fundraising, medical care and well-stocked pit stops during the ride, and gear transport to their amenity filled cyclists’ camp.

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The Spring Fling included a pie toss board that Woytowich considers one of the highlights of the event, demonstrations by Evolution of Eden, a reptile breeder and educator, and an auction that included desserts, several food and wine baskets, jewelry, gym certificates and hockey memorabilia. Their event raised $2,942.60 for the foundation.

Woytowich and her team used posters, Facebook and word of mouth to publicize the event, and she believes Facebook, including an event page which was set up, worked best to bring people in. She also notes that “team work is important. I couldn’t do these fundraising events without my team. I generally organise the event and they bring the people!” Woytowich says she gets others involved in raising money for charity by “being genuine and encouraging them that if I can do this, anyone can!”

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