March 23, 2013 4:30 pm
Updated: March 24, 2013 6:46 pm

$430,000 raised at Bust a Move for Breast Health fitness extravaganza

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EDMONTON- Hundreds of people came together at the Edmonton Expo Centre Saturday, with one common goal- to put an end to breast cancer.

Now in its second year in Edmonton, the Bust a Move for Breast Health fitness extravaganza raises funds for breast cancer research.

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“We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the amount of support we’ve gotten from the community,” said event organizer Brooke Rose. “We’ve had such a great response, not only from breast cancer survivors and their supporters, but the corporate community as well.”

Participants took part in six hours of exercise including Zumba, hip hop dancing, boot camp, yoga, radiostar (a dance workout), and of course, perhaps the most anticipated event, a 70-minute workout session with the one and only Richard Simmons.

Bust a Move started in Halifax in 2010 and has since expanded across the country into seven other host cities for 2013. Each host city chooses its cause, and 100 percent of the funds raised stay in that community.

Over 400 men and women of all ages took part in the event, including the “Global Gazongas,” a team of 18 members, including Global’s Carole Anne Devaney, Nicola Crosbie, Erin Chalmers, Jenna Bridges, Trish Kozicka and Laurel Clark.

“Initially I wanted to get involved because my aunt had breast cancer when I was really little,” Clark explained. “And I think about her overcoming that, and years later we’re so close. We run stairs in the valley together, we go to the gym and she’s now 66-years-old and in the best shape.”

“I just really look up to her and I couldn’t imagine not having that influence in my life,” Clark added.

Two time cancer survivor Trish Millard says the feeling of support at Saturday’s event is very indescribable.

“It’s very hard to tell anybody what it actually means, but when you see everybody else here, like the pink (yoga) mats really mean a lot to me because I know what they’ve gone through and it’s not easy to describe.”

Each participant was required to raise a minimum of $1,000.

“It’s hard to raise $1,000,” said Devaney. “It’s a lot of posting it on Twitter, Facebook, we held a comedy night, we held a pizza day at Global. It’s a long process and it’s not easy.”

Here in Edmonton, all of the funds raised will go to the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

“Specifically… the funds will be going to a new clinical trial project at the Cross Cancer Institute,” said Rose.

“To know that it’s staying at home, and to know that it’s going to affect people right here in Alberta, that makes a huge difference,” Clark added.

“The money is staying locally and it’s helping people that have fought cancer, that will fight in the future and those people that survived, and it’s also for people that passed away. Hopefully we can prevent that in the future,” said Devaney.

“I don’t care where the money goes as long as it stays locally and it helps anybody,” Millard said. “I don’t care if I raise money for them to give people juice or to buy chairs, it helps so much.”

Tracy Carroll is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in January 2011 and went through chemotherapy and radiation at the Cross Cancer Institute. Carroll says taking part in six hours of exercise is the least she can do for the amazing team who helped save her life.

“From the volunteers to all the technicians, to all the oncologists, I mean, they’re just the best in the county at what they do.”

“It was really hard to do any physical activity that year I was sick,” she said. “So, to be able to this now and feel really healthy means everything.”

And while a six-hour workout may sound daunting to some, participants say it’s all about having fun.

“It’s a lot of fun. I mean, no one cares, everybody is embarrassing themselves, but it’s fun.” Clark said with a laugh.

“It’s just fun. We’re all sweating and having a great time,” Carroll said. “It’s just non-stop exercise. This is a hoot!”

A total of $430,000 was raised for the Alberta Cancer Foundation at Saturday’s event. The Global Gazongas team raised $22,805.23.

With files from Jenna Bridges. 

 

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