|"West Side Stories" book club with Doug O'Neill,|
author of Canadian Living article.
Five years ago, several of the women in my book club were struggling with cancer, either their own or a family member’s. They realized that, although there were many wonderful cancer fundraisers involving athletics, there was nothing for the many people who might not complete a half-marathon but who love to read.
And then they did something about it.
|RFTC team 2009: Cathy Kostyniuk, Emily Babiak, Christine Biggar,|
Avalon Neale, Susan Culver, Sara Street, Jan Chepesiuk
Sara Street, Emily Eayrs Babiak and Christine Biggar, with the help of Patty Staite and several other friends, started a charity themselves. Calling it “Read For the Cure”, they solicited the help of Random House Canada and several donor companies. RFTC allows avid readers and book club members to hear their favourite authors speak, and to receive copies of their books. It's now entering its fourth year, and the authors who are involved in the three evenings will be amazing! The delightful and hilarious Catherine Gildiner will be speaking, as will Ian Brown, the author of one of my favourite books, The Boy in the Moon. And what can I say about the magnificent Margaret Atwood?
|RFTC 2009: Ian Brown, Alison Pick, host Carolyn Weaver and Wayson Choy.|
When I asked Emily why she thinks these evenings are so much fun, she said, "They allow book clubs to go to a special venue to share in each other's company while listening to authors that they've read, along with new and exciting authors. Many of the authors share their moments of triumph and struggle, and there is a sense of intimacy between the writer and the reader. In addition, the opportunity to ask questions and meet the author makes for a memorable evening, all in support of very worthwhile cancer research."
Now Canadian Living magazine has written an article about Read For the Cure and our book club! It’s in the October issue, which has just appeared on the newsstands. Look for the article entitled “West Side Stories” – yes, that’s the name of our group.
Last year RFTC raised $70,000 for cancer research. I am bursting with pride that my friends made this happen. And I can't wait to see Catherine Gildiner, Linden MacIntyre and Annabel Lyon on October 20.