With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Enliven, Huntsville’s cancer support organization, has had to find creative ways to continue fundraising.
Enliven offers programs that support individuals with cancer diagnoses and the people who support them through a variety of workshops.
“[Nearly] one in two Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. That shows us that we will all be affected in some way,” said Cat Brown, an Enliven board member. “With that said, we need to realize that a cancer diagnosis is normal. Cancer is a part of life and a life with cancer still needs to be enhanced on a daily basis. Enliven strives to enhance lives, encourage community and support those affected by cancer.”
After Brown’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 she became more aware of how many people are affected by cancer and the need for support in Muskoka.
Two annual Enliven fundraisers—an art auction and the “Jo-Athlon” outdoor challenge—that coincide with World Cancer Day on February 4 help to provide that support. Both have had to be revamped to comply with pandemic restrictions.
The inaugural “Jo-Athlon” held in 2020 was an outdoor challenge at Camp Tawingo. Participants took part in a variety of outdoor activities in memory of Enliven’s co-founder, Joanne McLean, and raised money for the organization in the process.
“This year we are encouraging people to still get outside and enjoy Muskoka’s beautiful winter while also fundraising for World Cancer Day,” said Brown. Sign up online to raise funds and then get outside from Feb. 1-7 for some cross-country skiing, skating, snowshoeing, tubing, hiking, walking, enjoying a camp fire, or building a snowman, while respecting stay-at-home restrictions, of course.
You can also help to raise funds for Enliven from the comfort of home during an online art auction, featuring pieces from artists around Muskoka. Last year the event was held at Canvas Brewing Co. but this year will be completely virtual.
“We’ve had many artists come forward for a second year to donate pieces to the auction,” said Brown, who is leading the two fundraisers in partnership with Carrie Campbell and Bayley Roche. “There is a beautiful selection of paintings, jewelry, photography, and even a fabric piece.”
Artists confirmed for the event include: Ken Biggs, Paula Boon, Miranda Britton, Pam Carnochan, Andre Carriere, Wendie Donabie, Paul Fairhurst, Keri-Lyn Freebird, Karen Gray, Nicole Hay, Carlos Pinto, Helena Renwick, Karen Thorn, and Roberta Twaddle.
A link to the online auction will be posted on the Enliven website, as well as their social media channels, and will be ready to be viewed on February 1. Follow along on Instagram @enlivencentreforselfcare and Facebook @enlivenmuskoka.
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