Can you believe it? We still have over a month to go, but already support for the Lady Ball has been incredible. Word on the street is a feeling of hope and optimism – the momentum started last month when the federal government announced a $10-million funding commitment towards ovarian cancer research.
It’s a victory – no doubt about it. After years of lobbying the feds for research funding, we finally feel like our voices are being heard. Supporters across Canada showed their “ladyballs” through thousands of letters, signatures, photos, hashtags and donations. And, it worked. You can read the official announcement from Elisabeth Baugh, the CEO of Ovarian Cancer Canada.
I am honored to chair this year’s Lady Ball Gala on May 23rd in Calgary. It is a night of fun, comedy, fashion and fundraising. Yes, the $10-million funding announcement will go towards research, but we still need more funds to support patients with day-to-day programs and resources.
People are always shocked when I tell them the statistics. Ovarian cancer is THE most deadly female cancer. Most women are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease and the five-year survival rate is only 47%. My mom was diagnosed in the fall of 2013 and passed away in the summer of 2017. She fought a hell of a fight, but never even made it five years post-diagnosis. It’s a brutal disease.
I’m thrilled to announce that Calgary entrepreneur and CEO of Gabriella’s Kitchen, Margot Micallef, is our Honorary Chair. Margot is a business leader in our city and a passionate advocate for women’s health. She lost her beloved sister, Gabriella, to cancer and she knows first-hand the pain that cancer causes; how it tears families apart and leaves an irreparable hole.
She will be a fantastic addition to the evening! Some other highlights include comedian Jessica Holmes, who does some wickedly funny impressions. Calgary actress Yvonne Chapman, from CBC’s reboot of Street Legal, will walk in the fashion show, sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue.
We just couldn’t do this event without our generous sponsors. Kim Bogner, marketing manager, and her team at Saks, have been incredible fashion partners. The fashion show will feature the latest spring and summer trends with a Mediterranean feel. La Biostethique and MAC Cosmetics have also generously donated time and products. Antonija Klotz and The Nobles will be providing models for the evening.
Astra Zeneca, Plains Midstream Canada, Birchcliff Energy, Global Calgary and Global News Radio CHQR770 and Air Canada are some other key partners – we greatly appreciate your continued support.
Our live auction will feature the always entertaining veteran auctioneer Bill Brown of Elevate Auctions. Last year, we raised $130,000. Let’s see if we can better that this year?
I wish I could attend this event with my mom. But, I’m so grateful for the love and support of my husband and wonderful friends who will accompany me on this very special evening. I know my mom is with us as we celebrate survivors, remember those we’ve lost and look towards a more promising future.
And, one final note. This event is run almost entirely by volunteers. When the Ovarian Cancer Canada Calgary office closed two years ago, the volunteers rolled up their sleeves to make sure the event continued in YYC. Hats off to our entire committee – a wonderful group of women who are kind, generous and care deeply about creating a healthier future for the girls and women in their lives.