On October 4, UTM took part in the annual “CIBC Run for the Cure”. Students, professors (including the acting principal), and community members alike came out to attend the much anticipated event.
“From coast to coast, an estimated 115,000 participants and volunteers were involved in the 2015 CIBC Run for the Cure,” said Lisa Ditschun, the event marketing communications specialist for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. “This is the 24th year the annual event has taken place. The first event was in High Park, Toronto in 1992, with 1,500 enthusiastic participants who raised over $60,000 in support of the run.”
The run has been an annual event at UTM since 2010.
Ryan Cerrudo, the communications officer for the Institute for Management and Innovation, and Carla DeMarco, the communications and grants manager at the Office of the Vice-Principal, were responsible for co-organizing the event. Their goal this year was to “have an increased presence of UTM staff, faculty, and students on the team, and to make this a fun family event with kids, parents, spouses, and friends participating”.
According to DeMarco, there were approximately 2,500 participants present on the UTM campus. “The Mississauga site for the Run for the Cure alone raised $333,575 for breast cancer research,” she said.
Cerrudo said that the UTM team has raised over $21,000. However, this number refers to specifically the online funds that were raised. “Offline/cash donations aren’t tallied up until later. Add to the fact that you’re allowed to donate until October 31, and the matter is complicated further,” he explains. “Plus, there’s also the $40 registration fee that I believe is counted toward the total, even though it’s not officially part of the fundraising.”
The UTM team was awarded the Postsecondary Team Challenge award for their fundraising efforts this year.
Cerrudo reported that last year UTM raised $18,000.
Several weeks of preparation were put into making sure the event ran smoothly. In fact, the training schedule started in September, allowing participants to train for the 5K run three times a week. Some new initiatives for the fundraising campaign this year included “Best Bites”, a bake-off in which samples of staff-submitted recipes were sold, and “Chop the Mop”, where participants, including students, donated their hair.
The event has a profound effect on the lives of countless families, especially for those participants who have a personal reason behind their attendance.
“My mother-in-law, Sydney Diane Lane, passed away in 2003 from breast cancer. I run for her, and [for] my two daughters… I hope they do not encounter the same experience their grandmother had,” says DeMarco. Cerrudo says that he runs for his mother, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy, for his aunts, and for the cause itself.
Professor Ulrich Krull, analytical chemistry professor and acting principal of UTM, also participated in the event, and shared his own reasons for why he believes it is important. “Like so many families, mine has seen its share of grief caused by cancer,” he says. “It is also the case that my own research has been studying methods to deliver cancer therapeutics and to diagnose the disease.”
When asked how he had prepared physically for the run, Krull said that he has “a physical fitness program and have [followed it] since high school… So no extra preparation is needed”.
“Personally, I am so glad I got involved with this event,” says Cerrudo. “Despite how much work it was, everything is put in perspective on run day when you see the survivors marching, family [and] friends running and walking for their loved ones […] It’s just a great event all around to be a part of in any capacity, and it really showcases the UTM campus and community.”