Well, the Donkeys did it again. Three years in a row we have been named the top Fundraisers by the Canadian Cancer Relay for Life. Our team members have also secured for the third time the awards for Top Fundraiser and Top Online Fundraiser. We’ve raised something over $150,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society in a short three years. This year, we added a new award to our roster. We represented all of Canada by winning the American Cancer Society’s first-ever Global “Spirit of Relay” Team Award. You can read the press release online but here is a cut-out:
Brooke’s Donkeys, a Relay For Life of Prince Edward County team in Ontario Canada, will receive the Spirit of Relay Team Award recognizing a team that has fully engaged all of its team members through fundraising, survivor and caregiver engagement, and dedication to finishing the fight against cancer. Brooke’s Donkeys honors Brooke Ramsay, who passed away from a rare form of cancer – a sarcoma in the brain – at the age of 23. After Ramsey was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, she formed a Relay For Life team with family and friends to raise money for cancer research. When she passed away, a year after diagnosis, she had raised over $36,000, and her team had raised a total of $80,000 for the Relay For Life of Prince Edward County event in 2011. Brooke’s Donkeys derived their name from the first animal that Ramsey was able to recognize after her surgery to remove a large tumor in her brain.
It’s a massive accomplishment and I’m proud to be apart of this small but mighty group of girls.
On behalf of the Donkeys I read a speech for the gala dinner that recognized the Donkeys for their achievements and was held this weekend in Toronto. For those that want to read it, here is the speech:
Brooke always loved a good party. And any party always loved Brooke. We often joke that when Brooke was in a room that she liked to make it known that she was in a room. You see Brooke was never afraid to be one of the loudest people in the room, even though with our group of girls we offered stiff competition (myself included). She would laugh, joke, and tell many, many stories.
So naturally when us Donkey’s got together to discuss our fundraising strategy years ago we knew we had to throw a party. And not just any party. A party that would make Brooke proud. It wasn’t until closer to Brooke’s birthday that we discovered the perfect day to throw it. You see, none of us wanted to be alone on Brooke’s birthday. We wanted to be together in a place where we could remember all the great memories we had with Brooke over the years. Her birthday was the perfect place for us to gather the friends, family and even strangers that Brooke had touched at some point or another and bring them together in one place where we could all collectively celebrate her life. It was the perfect plan and to me, it meant that at least one time in the year we remind everyone of her legacy and how much she meant to us. We picked a local bar that us girls used to frequent often and for the past two years we have thrown the biggest, best and baddest fundraising party around. We have hundreds of prizes in the silent auction, raffles and games that are set up. All of which are donated by the local community, family and friends. In the last two years we have made just under $30,000 from our fundraising party alone. Not bad right?
I’m proud to say the Donkey’s know how to throw one hell of a party. But most importantly, Brooke would be proud. Arms linked, belting out her favourite karaoke tune while raising a glass to the air. That is how Brooke would want us to celebrate her birthday.