By Ian Froese
They sweated their hearts out for six hours, but this time the end goal wasn’t to shed pounds.
Hundreds of enthusiastic Haligonians, dressed in an array of colourful garb, danced and jived their way through an intense all-day workout March 24 in support of the continued development of a Breast Health Centre at the IWK.
The event, known as the Bust a Move for Breast Health fundraiser, raised more than $500,000. A community partner added $100,000 to the amount, equalling a grand total of $601,471.
Bill Bean, CEO of the QEII Foundation, which helped organize the event, was on stage working out during the final fitness session. He was thrilled with how the day went.
“That new breast health centre will help save lives. So if you take healthy, positive people celebrating and helping to save lives at the same time, there’s nothing better.”
Each participant had to raise a minimum of $1,000 to participate, either as an individual or as a team.
For Stephanie Lee, involved with Diagnostic Imaging’s X-Racks team, the physical exhaustion of a day-long mixture of dancing, yoga and kickboxing was more than worth it.
“Your body’s getting a little sore, but the energy in here is so great that you just feel so positive,” she said.
|MP3 – Bust A Move Dudes
Team Bro member Peter Rumscheidt describes why he is involved with the breast cancer fundraiser, and afterwards fellow team member Gary Karasek explains his team’s success.
“It’s a great way to celebrate our health and our fitness, and raise money for a good cause.”
The crowd of participants were predominately women, but that didn’t stop some men from getting involved. Danny Oake works for the Canadian Forces Health Services and moonlighted during the workout as a member of the Breast Friends team.
“A lot of women are showing their support, and so am I. It’s a great cause, too, and, you know, there are some men that get breast cancer, right?”
A home-grown success story, the made-in-Halifax fundraiser celebrated its third birthday this year by expanding to four other Canadian cities as well (St. John’s, Montreal, Ottawa and Edmonton). Next year three more cities will begin busting moves of their own.
Organizers from those cities visited the Halifax event last year to see how the fundraiser works for themselves. They were impressed.
“We brought them over last year and said all the money you raised goes to your community,” said Bean. “They thought it was great.”
Bean is expecting great success from those events as well. He said Saturday that he’s excited to make a phone call to Edmonton where they were holding their own event on the same day.
“I can’t wait to call them and see how it went.”
Since 2008, the QEII Foundation and the IWK Foundation in Halifax has raised more than $3.4 million toward the Breast Health Centre.