For the past two years Evergreen Park has been painted pink for a breast cancer research fundraiser, but this weekend it will turn purple. Mr. Mike’s is taking on this year’s Race For The Cure and hopes to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer. Manager of the Grande Prairie location Brad Richards says it’s a cause close to his heart, as both his grandfather and father died of the disease 40 years apart.
“And in those 40 years, the advancement and event early detection, let along treatment, has just about been zero. Pancreatic cancer is rated as the fourth most deadliest cancer in North America, yet it receives very little recognition and funding.”
Pancreatic cancer also has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer, and only eight per cent of Canadians will survive more than five years after their diagnosis. Several families in Grande Prairie have been affected, including those related to local businessman Brian Nash, who passed away in 2010.
In addition to purple decorations and drinks, funds will be raised through silent auctions and a frisbee toss for a pair of Westjet tickets. The silent auction includes two gold tickets to the Carrie Underwood concert in Edmonton and a pair of Edmonton Oilers tickets, courtesy of Marlin Travel. Curry’s Jewellers owners have also donated a set of purple stones, as Andre and Michael Ouellette’s mother died of pancreatic cancer.
Anyone who can’t make the event can still purchase a frisbee online at evergreenpark.ca to be thrown by a professional. However, Evergreen Park Marketing and Sponsorship Manager Don Moon says the event’s focus isn’t on fundraising.
“It’s almost more of an awareness than it is about making a whole bunch of money… I was looking at the numbers and I was quite surprised by how deadly of a disease [pancreatic cancer] is.
The event starts Sunday at 1 p.m. at Gordon Badger stadium. It is the last day of pari-mutuel horse racing in Grande Prairie and guests are encouraged to dress in purple.