Carolling for a cause: Montrealers raise money for breast cancer

Montrealers sing Christmas Carols for a good cause
WATCH ABOVE: Christmas carolling has become a tradition for one Montreal family, but as Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports, it’s about more than just singing.

For two dozen carollers, singing Christmas songs is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

But there is another important reason why these singers have gathered on Sherbrooke Street in Westmount on a chilly winter Sunday.

“This is our ninth annual Carol for a Cure,” said Zoë Mintz. “It’s a fundraiser I organized nine years ago in honour of my mom, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the time.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s something that’s not spoken about’: Annual walk aims to raise awareness of bladder cancer

Rochelle Barr was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer back in 2009.

During her fight, her family and friends organized fundraisers like this one to help raise money for research.

Story continues below advertisement
Rochelle Barr.
Rochelle Barr. Lisa Barr

In 2016, Barr lost her battle with cancer, but the carolling continues in her memory.

“Everyone just gets so into it, so involved. The whole community comes out and rallies around us,” said Mintz. “Even though we might not have the best voices, we have the best spirit.”

READ MORE: Sisters inspire fitness fundraiser for West Island Cancer Wellness Centre

The carollers sing for a few hours while collecting money for the Cedars Cancer Foundation at the McGill University Health Centre, a place where Barr received most of her treatment.

Over the years, Carol for a Cure has raised around $50,000 for cancer and counting.

“(Rochelle would) be happy that what she started by getting sick is continuing, that her kids have picked up on it, that nothing has stopped us,” said her sister, Lisa Barr.

Story continues below advertisement