In 2010, I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in all 3 events we support. Each event was truly unique, incredibly moving and inspirational. I would not trade all the hours of walking and cycling, the sweat, the tears. Being part of these events has changed my life and made me want to make a difference. PMH uses the term "Strength in Numbers" and when you participate in these events, the slogan holds so true. When you see the sea of pink ahead of you and behind you during the walk, or for the ride thousands of bikes ahead of you all wearing yellow-you know that you are making a difference! Organizing LOL has also enriched my life and allowed me to meet such incredible people. The cancer survivors inspire me every day. I am very proud of the LOL event and I hope that its success continues for years to come.
I ride and walk because I can. Because I have to. I Ride and Walk because I believe that we are going to make a difference.
In 2009, I attended my first Ladies Out Laughing event with my mom, and was inspired by the team of fabulous women who were taking a stand against cancer - through laughter. The following year, I joined the team and was ready to make a difference. I've been working with these amazing ladies for 6 years now on the event and loving every minute of it. My good friend's son lost his battle with cancer in 2009 - which hit home really hard. This summer I will be cycling in my 7th Tour for Kids in memory of Alex Pace, who fought an inspiring, dignified and determined 2-year battle with cancer. I will ride 300-600 kilometers across Ontario over 3 days for Team Axel, in support of children and their families living with cancer and beyond.
In April 2008, a few friends decided to register for the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, a 2-day walk in support of Princess Margaret. At the time, the walking part was not so intimidating, however the thought of having to raise $2,000 each was! We had just over 4 months to raise our funds. We approached Laurie Elliott - a comedian from Toronto, to come out to Oakville with a few other female comedians and perform. Luckily for us, the venue was filled to capacity and over $6,000 was raised in one evening. In April 2009, we held another sold out show, entertained over 230 women, and raised $9,000 for the Campbell Family Institute at the Princess Margaret.
In 2010, we took a huge leap and booked a much larger venue - with the hopes of getting 500 women out to the show. We changed our event name to 'Ladies Out Laughing', launched a new website and fantastic logo, and also received generous corporate support. With our increased success, we decided to add the Tour for Kids charity, an event that supports children living with cancer and beyond. LOL 2010 was incredibly successful, 500 women packed the venue and we raised over $30,000. In 2011, with additional sponsorship and fantastic prizes, we raised over $33,000. In 2012, we raised over $45,000, in 2013 we raised $62,000 and last year we raised an incredible $65,000!
This year we are pleased to welcome back TD Bank Group as our Title Sponsor, and with their help we hope to raise another $65,000!
We are pleased that LOL has become an anticipated yearly, women only comedy event for charity and hope that it continues for years to come. As long as we can walk and cycle, our quest to "Conquer Cancer in our Lifetime" will continue.
Laugh Often, Live Fully, Love Freely
LOL started for me as a way to help a friend in need, a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer. To show that I could make a difference, however small, I signed up for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers. Two close friends, Vic and Chris, joined me. The weekend was inspirational, life changing and fuelled a desire to want to go do more. The Walk lead to the Ride to Conquer Cancer and an amazing two day ride from Toronto to Niagara. It started with wanting to help a friend and now it's a comedy event which touches the hearts and funny bone of over 500 women helping raise money to fight cancer.
It started in 2009 - I attended my first Ladies Out Laughing event, and I became truly inspired by the community support and the compassion that filled the room for such an event. Women joining together, forming a bond, for the battle against cancer, through comedy. With support from my family and friends, I embarked on a two day cycling journey from Toronto to Niagara Falls as a participant for the Ride To Conquer Cancer. It was definitely a physical challenge, but compared to the courageous battles I have seen fought by family and friends, it compared to none. Thank you ladies for being such a dedicated & incredible team. I am honoured & blessed to be apart of such a wonderful event, and yes, together we can all make a difference! Thank you to everyone in advance for your generous support. In honour of you Auntie Florence, this one is for you.
In 2010, I attended my first Ladies Out Laughing event with a table full of my friends, and I was blown away! I couldn't believe the personal stories of those who had been touched by cancer. I was truly awed and inspired. I cried, and then I laughed along with the amazing entertainment provided by the talented comedians. I was incredibly impressed by such a well organized, enjoyable, and inspiring event....all for charity, all organized by women in the community. However, it wasn't until the next LOL event I attended in 2013, that things changed for me. The previous Fall I had been diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), the very place that the Ladies Out Laughing event had raised money for. I was now a "cancer survivor" and was one of the many women so grateful for people like Chris and Darlene, who so selflessly, and generously give their time so that people like myself can benefit from the wonderful care, doctors and programs that PHM offers for people who suffer from this terrible disease. I knew immediately that I wanted to help and become involved with LOL in anyway I could. I participated in the Weekend Walk to End Women's Cancers as a proud LOL team member in 2013 and again this past year. The event was truly one of the best experiences of my life...to see that many people (over 4000 Walkers) and thousands of volunteers - men, women, young, old all coming together to fight cancer was overwhelming...and incredibly hopeful. I am so thankful to be able to walk in this amazing event every year. I do believe we will conquer cancer in our lifetime!
The first time I attended LOL was in 2010. I was one of 30 ladies from my community to attend and the reason was mainly to support my friend Darlene who was riding in Tour for Kids and helping run LOL. The evening really blew me away. The guest speaker was Frances Pace who shared her story about her son Alex. It moved every person who listened. I remember tightly holding hands with my friend beside me whose son had just been diagnosed with leukaemia. I have never felt such compassion and strength in one room before and it really impacted me. Plus, we laughed our asses off at the comedians and playing boobs and butt games! Since then I have attended most years and have helped out in a variety of ways. I had the opportunity last year, 2014, to officially join the committee of awesome ladies on Ladies out Laughing. But, I got the call last March Break that my dear nephew was diagnosed with ALL Very high risk B cell leukaemia. Everything else stopped and cancer was much closer to home for my youngest sister's son and all of our family. I was very honoured when asked by the Ladies Out Laughing to speak last year about my experience with cancer as a sister, aunt and friend. So now, here I am this year, officially on the Ladies Out Laughing committee! They have not got me on a bike yet…but who knows. My nephew "Anthony the Great", one year into his treatment, will this year be attending at least one of the camps that we support at LOL. I am so happy and proud. xo