York’s Victorious Vandoos among top 10 fundraisers

People will have to excuse Vanier College Master Carole Carpenter if she seems a little tired lately. After all, she has just completed a two-day, 60km fundraising walk, organized a University-wide fundraiser on Sept. 9, supervised the counting of the fundraising proceeds, and maintained her own academic responsibilities.

Left: Carole Carpenter

As captain of the Victorious Vandoos, Carpenter led 26 woman with connections to York University to successful completion of  The Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk. (See the Sept. 9 issue of YFile.) The team placed ninth in the top 10 teams for fundraising. “We contributed over $90,000 in all,” said an elated Carpenter. “The final total is not available because donations are still coming in.”


Right: Carole Carpenter (centre front with blue hat) and some of the members of the Victorious Vandoos at a rest stop during The Weekend to End Breast Cancer

Carpenter was also a central force in The Day at York in Support of The Weekend to End Breast Cancer fundraiser. Dubbed the Bee Cee Olympics, the event sought to have students from York’s nine colleges compete in a day of games and events to raise funds for breast cancer research. Even though torrential rains forced Carpenter to cancel the games, the students decided to put their energy into a daylong fundraising event. They competed in an intercollegiate competition for the most funds raised among the residences and also among the University’s nine colleges.

Left: From left, student fundraisers Sarva Jeyapalan; Buddhi Jayawickrama; Andhleep Kabir; and Tara Berger from Atkinson College

“It was unfortunate that we had to cancel the games because of the heavy rain. However, the students rose to the challenge and were really terrific and enthusiastic,” said Carpenter. “In total, York University students raised $8,263.12. The money was cheerfully received by the Vandoos and helped push us well over our goal.

“Atkinson College students counted the funds raised,” said Carpenter. “I am delighted to announce that my college, Vanier, raised the highest total at $1,385.12. Calumet College came in second.”

The Weekend To End Breast Cancer walk saw more than 4,500 people volunteer to walk 60km over two days. In total, the event raised $14.7 million to support breast cancer research and treatment programs at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Each walker had to raise at least $2,000 to participate in the walk. This year over 150,000 donors made contributions to The Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

Left: Victorious Vandoos arrive at the finish line after walking 60km over two days

“The really wonderful part about doing the fundraiser on campus was the level of awareness about breast cancer was raised in the University community,” said Carpenter. “Next year, I am hoping to have information leaflets on breast self-examination and breast cancer prevention to distribute to people who make a donation.”

Proceeds from the walk will go to The Institute for Breast Cancer Research to improve treatment facilities and to support the only comprehensive Clinic and Program in Canada.

“This is a new era in cancer research,” said Dr. Tak Wah Mak, director for the Institute for Breast Cancer Research. “We are now looking at novel ways to develop the next generation of diagnostic capabilities, drugs and treatments to benefit breast cancer patients not just here in Toronto, but for women around the world affected by this devastating disease. I am excited to be associated with the Institute for Breast Cancer Research and its vision to become a world-leading program in breast cancer research.” Mak received an honorary doctorate from York University during the 2004 Spring Convocation ceremonies. (See the June 22 issue of YFile.)

The 2005 Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk will take place Sept 9-11, 2005. “We’ve already started planning what we are going to do for next year’s walk, ” said Carpenter.

Visit The Weekend to End Breast Cancer Web site for more information about the 2005 event, or call 416-815-WALK (9255).