“It’s easier to walk than battle cancer” is a truth that Scott Williard knows firsthand. The Elmira resident lost his first wife to the disease. Now, he’s entering his fifth year in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.
“Scotty & the Pussycats,” comprised of Williard, his wife Jill, and friends Regan Hori, Pam Janeczko, and Tanya Bogoslowski, are looking to raise $10,000 for the 60km walk in Toronto to support the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
“This being our fifth year, our total as a team will exceed $50,000,” said Williard. “There’s a lot of people from the region that go for treatment at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Cancer’s cancer – doesn’t matter where you live, it is what it is.”
“I think everybody can make a connection to cancer,” said Pam Janeczko.“I think the reason I do it is because of the women in my family.
Added Jill Williard, “We all have kids, and for my children to say, ‘Mom, I’m going to make bracelets to sell to donate to your walk’ – I know something we’re doing is affecting them positively. It’s not something you can teach them, it’s more that you have to lead by example and show them.”
Split over two days, the walk will send the team trekking for 32km on September 6 and 28km on the 27th. Over the past few years, the group has braved torrential downpours and no small amount of blisters; they know from experience that just waking up the second day is the hardest challenge of all.
“I remember two years ago, Regan was about to give up without about 3, 4 kilometres left,” Williard laughed. “We said, ‘No way!’”
“The neighbourhoods of Toronto, they’re out on the sidewalks giving us cookies, they’re giving us juice, coffee, and little kids are giving us stickers,” said Hori. “You actually walk by Princess Margaret and you have the doctors and nurses and those patients out there holding their IV poles. They’re saying, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ That’s the part that keeps me going back.”
Still, the team needs to raise at least $10,000 to compete. To help raise the funds, they’ll be collecting empty bottles (beer, wine, liquor), and will also be serving barbeque at the Elmira Foodland on May 10. “It’s Mother’s Day weekend, and what better weekend to support women’s cancer?” said Williard.
All money goes to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, to fund treatment and research. “Princess Margaret Hospital puts out an article every year on research developments they have made,” said Williard. “You can see where the money goes firsthand.”
To donate your empty bottles, call Scott Williard at 519-669-9159 or Tanya Bogoslowski at 519-210-0066, or drop them off at 31 or 26 Snow Goose Cres. To donate money, look for Scotty & the Pussycats at www.endcancer.ca.