Blue Line

Pink is back as city services rally for cancer awareness

September 28, 2021  By Canadian Press / Local Journalism Initiative

Sept. 27, 2021 – CIBC Run for the Cure returns October 3, and North Bay’s police, fire, and paramedic services are all taking part to raise funds for the cause.

The event is the largest fundraiser for breast cancer in Canada. “There are 57 events throughout the country,” explained Melanie Gainforth, the North Bay director for CIBC Run for the Cure. “North Bay has always been very supportive of the event and the cause,” Gainforth said. The run celebrates its 30 anniversary this year. For the past 16 years, the event has been held in North Bay.

In that time, Gainforth notes residents have raised “over $1.29 Million” for cancer research. “We have something to be proud of,” she said.

Last year, North Bay Police became involved with the run, and challenged the fire department to a friendly fundraising competition. The department who raised the least amount for the charity would have their fingernails painted pink.


The fire department won that bet after raising $750 to the Police’s $640. Tight race. “You have your work cut out for you this year,” Gainforth said to Deputy Police Chief Michael Daze.

This year the Nipissing District Paramedic Services have joined the challenge, and Chief Stephen Kirk “looks forward to representing [their] community in this initiative to raise funds for a very good cause.”

“It’s always so much fun when we have this healthy competition,” said Fire Chief Jason Whitely. “The bigger win is raising funds for the CIBC Run for the Cure.”

Cancer “really hits home for me,” he said. “I’ve lost a lot of good friends who have died in the line of duty to cancer. I’ve lost my mother to breast cancer, and my grandmother had breast cancer,” he added, “so it’s so important that we have people willing to step up and go out in the community to support this.”

Jill Dupuis works at the accident support services within the city police service. She also volunteers on the CIBIC Run for the Cure event committee with Gainforth.

Looking to increase awareness for the cause, last year Dupuis brought up the idea to the police department who were happy to run with the idea.

Her plan to “make it a little bigger and better than it was last year” has reached fruition with the district’s paramedic services joining the challenge. “Raising funds during Covid is a challenge,” she said, adding the help is appreciated.

“I hope it is something we can do year after year,” Deputy Chief Daze said. “Anytime that we can take a really good cause, inject a bit of fun in it, and a little bit of competition and have the opportunity to raise money that’s going to benefit so many people, I think it’s a worthy path to go down for sure.”

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