North Bay's emergency services thinking pink
The Sudbury Star
The CIBC Run for the Cure is back outside after two years of Covid-induced virtual runs.
That is a welcome change, but one thing that has not changed, is the emergency services fund raising challenge.

Several police services, fire departments and paramedics raise money to fight breast cancer as separate organizations.

The loser, if you will, must have their nails painted pink.

The competition has grown over the years with the Nipissing District Paramedic Services joining the challenge in 2021.

That worked well for them, as the paramedic services team won the competition by raising $2,000 for breast cancer awareness and research.

In 2021, the three emergency services collectively raised more than $4,600 for CIBC’s Run for the Cure.

The North Bay Police Chief Scott Tod and North Bay Deputy Fire Chief Greg Saunders got the pink touch up on their fingernails.

Stephen Kirk, chief of Paramedic Services for the District of Nipissing’s Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB), was happy to be a nail painter last year.

“There is always healthy competition among the emergency services,” he says.

This is just another element where we can give back to our community for a great cause and have some fun doing it.”

For North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whiteley, this fundraiser hits home.

“It has touched me in a lot of ways. My mom passed away from breast cancer when she was 54. My grandmother had breast cancer but lived until she was 96 – she fought it off for a long time. I lost my dad to cancer and lost a lot of friends on the fire service to cancer.”

Melanie Gainforth is the North Bay Run for the Cure director and says it has been so far, so great, for Run for the Cure fundraising.

“In 17 years (of running this event) we have raised 1.3 million dollars for breast cancer research, awareness, and education programs through the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and now the Canadian Cancer Society.”

Money going toward research is making a breast cancer diagnosis less grim than in the past.

“Diagnosis is improved, and the cancers are being caught sooner. We are more aware. We are taking better care of ourselves,” she says.

“In the 1980s, a breast cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. We have reduced the mortality rate by 45 per cent.”

Members of the North Bay Police Service, North Bay Fire and Emergency Services, Nipissing District Paramedic Services, Anishinabek Police Service – Nipissing Detachment, Ontario Provincial Police –  Northeast Region and the Ministry of Transportation’s Transportation Safety Division are all throwing into the fundraising effort.

The run takes place Oct. 2 at the Waterfront Park (Marina) on Memorial Drive from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


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