Our Chair

Inspiration and Hope

A note from our Chair, October 2022 

Good evening and welcome everyone!

It’s wonderful to see you all, sharing this celebratory evening after two years apart is truly extraordinary.

Tonight, I am filled with inspiration and hope. Yes, the battle against breast cancer is a formidable one, but with you as allies I have no doubt that we are embarking on an age of unprecedented progress.

In that spirit I would like to thank all the amazing women of the Crystal Gala Committee – Tanya Curtis, Brittany Manulak, Julie Charles, Jessica Germaine, Aman Gill, Judy Siggs, Susan Bubra, Katt Stearns, Laura Ballance and Gina Spencer. This small but mighty group give thousands of hours collectedly of their time each year to conceptualize, built and run tonight’s event – which means that 100% of every dollar we raise tonight goes to fighting the cause. I also need to acknowledge the efforts of all the families of our committee who also work throughout the year to mount this event. Thank you.

Many in this room know that October is breast cancer awareness month, but the patients and their families, the doctors, nurses, technicians and advocates face this disease every month, not just October.

And that is what tonight is about – spreading love and solidarity to the warriors in the fight of their life, and raising money to provide the latest tools for the heroes who join them and their families in battle.

Now, I’d like to ask a question.

I’d like to ask that anyone in this room that works as a doctor, a nurse, a technician, a radiologist, a support worker, within a cancer agency or association here in Abbotsford or across our region – you are a healthcare hero, and I’d like you to please stand up.

Now, is there anyone in this room who has been directly touched by breast cancer themselves – please stand up.

Anyone who has had a family member affect, please stand up.

You inspire me. You inspire the members of our gala committee and you inspire everyone in this room.

You have my word that as a committee and a community we will continue to shed light on the challenges and often invisible realities of living with this disease.

COVID was hard on us all, but it has been particularly difficult for cancer patients and their families.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted cancer treatment, delayed screening, and affected access to medicines.

It has added a new layer of risk for patients and created more worry and stress for families.

It made the already difficult work of healthcare providers even more difficult.

So it’s important to note that as a community and country we have a lot of work to do.

And we at the Crystal Gala have committed to that work – and to you. We commit that 100% of the money raised this evening will stay in our community for the benefit of those in our community!

I want to end by reminding everyone that in life, each of us faces a fundamental choice between indifference and caring. Tonight, by being here at this Gala, you have chosen decisive action. Thank you.

I’m going to turn the mic back to Howard in a moment, but before I do I want you all to raise your glass and toast us being together again.

Together, we are a powerful force for change. Together, we can strive for more. Together, we can make a difference.

With Gratitude,

Gerri Charles, Chair, Crystal Gala Foundation