Curlers to “Sweep Cancer” at Riverview Nov. 16-18

Since 2013, the Riverview Curling Club’s “Sweeping Cancer from our House” has raised more than $34,000 for cancer patient support. The 6th annual bonspiel begins Friday, Nov. 16.

About 100 curlers will be hurling rocks Nov. 16 to 18 as part of an effort to help cancer patients in the Westman region.

The sixth annual “Sweeping Cancer from our House” open bonspiel will take place Friday through Sunday at the Riverview Curling Club on Maryland Avenue in Brandon. The event will host 24 teams in the tournament, which includes a guaranteed three games of play per team, dinner on Saturday, and a social featuring live music by Clubbing Fraggles on Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets to the social are available for non-curlers as well. Just email the event committee at sweepingcancere@gmail.com.

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“We thought how can we get more people interested in curling again. The ladies bonspiel and the men’s bonspiel were failing at the time, so we thought what if we do a charity event to get more people to play,” said “Sweeping Cancer from our House” event chair Corina Epp.

“One of the ladies on the board said some people were going around getting five or six dollars to help cancer patients get medication, pay for expenses and stuff. We thought why not do something for them? If we could make their journey a little bit easier, we thought why not organize and event for that?”

Since its creation in 2013, the annual bonspiel has raised $34,200 to support cancer patients living in the western Manitoba. The events most successful year was 2016, when the bonspiel raised $15,000 with the help of WestJet.

The funding provides assistance to individuals and families who struggle to cover the costs of basic necessities associated with the treatment of the disease. The program includes money for non-prescription medications, accommodations, childcare, food or transportation needs. “Sweeping Cancer” benefits helps people who are struggling financially and have exhausted all other ways of earning or obtaining funding.

“This event is well attended. We have had 24 teams for each of our last five years,” Epp said.

Other members of the committee include Ellicia Duce, Chris Church, Darlene Lamoureux, Curtis Fedorowich and Jackie Pliszka. Epps said this crew is integral to the event’s success.

“Without their support and many volunteers, an event like this would not be possible. We are so proud of the funds we raise as we know we are helping those that need it the most right her in Brandon at the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre. Helping just a little goes a long way to brightening even the worst of days.”

To register a team for the “Sweeping Cancer from our House” bonspiel or to get more information, send an email to sweepingcancer@gmail.com. Team registration closes at noon on Nov. 11. Entry is $180 per team and includes games, dinner and tickets to the social.

“Gift of Flight” tickets are also being sold as part of the bonspiel. The prize in the draw – which is being held in partnership with WestJet – is a voucher for two individuals to fly anywhere WestJet does.

“Everybody that participates feels as passionate as we do about this issue,” said Epp. “We’ve had amazing support from local businesses in terms of monetary donations and it’s amazing to see the people put their faith in us with this initiative. Even people at the event ask how they can just give us extra money for the program.”

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