Bottle drive to support breast cancer research 

You can put your recycled bottles to good use on Sunday, July 31 by donating them to the six lovely ladies who will be running a breast cancer bottle drive.

The bottle drive will run from noon to 4 p.m. on July 31 at the Whistler Bottle Depot. All items with a deposit are welcome. The money raised from recycled cans and bottles will go towards breast cancer treatment and research.

The bottle drive is just one of the fundraisers being put on by women in the Sea to Sky corridor. The money is being raised in the name of the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, a 60 km walk through the neighbourhoods of Vancouver, benefiting the B.C. Cancer Foundation. The event, taking place Aug. 19-21, is in its second year in Vancouver. Last year’s Vancouver event raised $7 million.

There are several teams operating in the Sea to Sky corridor intending to participate in the event. Team Peek-a-Boobs is composed of six women from Squamish and Whistler and the bottle drive is their latest fundraiser.

The cause is one near and dear to the hearts of the six participants from Team Peek-a-Boobs: Bronwen Thorburn, Lauren Fraser, Tonya Motyka, Leslie Hallam, Laura Lazaridis, and Carla Wilkie. The women have all been touched by breast cancer in some way and all are trying to turn those experiences into something positive.

Thorburn, unofficial spokesperson for the team, says in her online statement on the event’s webpage, "Last year, my friend and mentor Fiona Famulak was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily with early detection and a support network of friends, she fought bravely and won her battle."

Thorburn, 31, went on to say, "I will walk for Fiona. Her optimism and bravery never failed to amaze me each and every day that she faced her battle."

It is a sentiment echoed by other members of the team.

"I am participating in this walk for my friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 26 th birthday, for my clients with breast cancer, and for the mothers of several friends who have breast cancer," said Motyka. "Cancer affects almost everyone to some extent in their lifetime…"

Lazaridis said: "I am doing this walk in honour of my mother, Marilyn. I have vowed to do my part in eliminating this terrible disease that strikes one in nine women. I know too many women that breast cancer has attacked and it’s time to find a cure and put and end to it forever."

The six women want to raise $18,000 as a team, with individual goals ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. They have already made significant progress, raising nearly 75 per cent of their goal with events like a "Think Pink Party" held at the Ocean Port Hotel, and a car wash at the Petro Canada in Squamish.

Thorburn also credits the donations to friends and family, as well as Outdoor Adventures, which donated $5 for every ATV ride that went out during the month of June, raising a total of $300. The bottle drive will be the last big fundraiser before the walk in August.

Thorburn hopes that they can achieve their team goal of $18,000 with the bottle drive. "We’d love to see you. Pop in, bring your empties. If there is anyone who has a larger load that is unable to drop off between those times, we’re going to have trucks available to do the larger loads. Just phone ahead of time (604-902-4014). We’d just love to see people out there. Every little bit will help."

Thorburn said she is looking forward to the walk.

"We all are. I think it’s going to be a huge experience. I don’t think it will be an easy one. It hasn’t been so far with the fundraising," she said. "I don’t think any of us really understood how much it was going to take. It’s been a lot of work and we’re totally proud of what we’ve done."

There is another Sea to Sky Corridor team in Team Whistler-Blackcomb. Their goal is to raise $16,000. They recently held a successful martini party at Moe Joe’s for the cause.

If you would like to donate to either Team Peek-a-Boobs or Team Whistler-Blackcomb you can do so at www.endcancer.ca.

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