Sisters for Life Gala brings in almost $17,000 for Cancer Society

Among the participants in this year's Ladies Night Out fundraiser gala was this group from Winchester area. Team Mele Kalikimaka included (from left) Sandra Pym, Cheryl Guy, Jo-Ann Houle, Amy Tibben, Lisa Williams, Rhonda Steele and Linda Thompson. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

FINCH — The Finch Community Centre was magically transformed Nov. 17 into a Christmas wonderland to host the 4th Annual Sisters for Life Ladies’ Night Gala. The Friday evening event was attended by close to 200 women who, through their dedication and support, helped raise close to $17,000. The money will go to the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society to help with the fight against cancer. 

The fundraiser was organized by “Sisters for Life” team.  Team members include Patsy Casselman and her daughter, Kim Casselman, Susan Casselman, Wendy Heagle, Joy Krol, Maureen Robertson and her daughter, Meghan-Tia Robertson, Angie Beehler and Monique Rutley.    

This year’s Gala comprised 21 Table Captains hosting anywhere between 6 and 11 guests at their respective table.  A huge thank you to the Table Captains for their creativity and all the effort they put into making their tables so spectacular.    The evening includes a table decorating contest. Winners for this year were: Canadian Christmas, Captain Janet Mayer and Candy Cane Dreamland, Captain Angie Jackson. Table participants also have the chance to win a Table Prize.

Judged best overall, Team “Canadian Christmas” included (clockwise from front, far left) Diane Smith-Ireland, Sue Casselman, Joanne Bender, Janet Mayer, Kathy McIntyre, Gale Smith-Rutley, Lorna Smith Gove and Janet McEwan. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Gala participants are able to purchase raffle tickets for different themed baskets full of fantastic items. The lucky winners of this year’s items were, Dara Ferguson winner of a Glass Handmade Snow Globe donated by Kenda tePlate and a themed basket called “Merry Christmas to Me” won by Sue Toll.

The evening features both a Silent and Live Auction, with over one hundred items up for grabs this year. Team members were thrilled to have auctioneer Chad Simmons, from Finch, return for the fourth  year, to lead the live auction.  His humour and charisma are enjoyed by all.

Jordan Coleman, a Cancer Survivor and committed supporter of the Canadian Cancer Society, spoke on his battle to beat the odds with Cancer and also led the Tealight Ceremony.  The Tealight Ceremony replicates the touching Luminary Lap at the annual Relay for Life event.  

A Tree of Hope was also set-up again at this year’s Gala. This tree gave participants the opportunity to hang a ribbon on the tree in memory of a loved one or in support or a cancer survivor.

This Gala would not be possible without the overwhelming generosity of a vast number of businesses and individuals who provide support through monetary contributions or goods. Team members are very grateful and honoured to have so many people and businesses in the United Counties and the City of Cornwall donate to support the cause.    

Special thanks to Scotiabank employees, Nancy Miller-McKenzie, Maggie Lang and Patricia Stinson; the Finch Recreation Committee; Emcee Sue Stewart, Kylie Zummach (Through My Lens Photography), DJ Jeff Van Gessel and his assistant Katie MacMillan; and local auctioneer Chad Simmons. Thank you also to the student volunteers who help to ensure the evening is a success: Sierra Woodside, Ceilidh McRae, Breigh Jackson, Cami Tait, Laine McMillan, Emily Norman, and Sadie McIntyre.

Team Candy Cane included (from left) Shirley Jackson, Deb Poapst, Sue Stewart, Austyn Toll, Angie Jackson, Kim Norman and Sue Toll. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

The smiles and wonderful moments of the evening were captured by Kylie Zummach (Through My Lens Photography), who takes various pictures of the evening and its participants. Kylie, in turn, donates half of her proceeds back to the cause. These pictures, along with others from the evening, can be viewed on the “Sisters for Life” Facebook page.

The members of the “Sisters for Life” team are expressing thanks to each participant: “Without your support there would be no Gala. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season with memorable time spent with family and friends.”  

The Sisters for Life Relay Team (front, from left) Angie Beehler, Monique Rutley and Kim Casselman; (back, from left) Wendy Heagle, Sue Casselman, Maureen Robertson, Meghan-Tia Robertson, Patsy Casselman and Joy Krol. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


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