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Harness the Hope marks 14 years as founder’s daughter battles breast cancer

Adults from left to right: Brandi Dustin-Poels, Doreen Dustin, Kristy Dustin.
Adults from left to right: Brandi Dustin-Poels, Doreen Dustin, Kristy Dustin. via Harness the Hope/Facebook

An annual fundraising event at the Western Fair District’s raceway will have added meaning on Friday.

The 14th annual Harness the Hope night will raise funds for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and the Pink Pearl Foundation, which supports young women with cancer.

READ MORE: Woman’s breast cancer detected by thermal camera at tourist attraction

Western Fair District marketing and media communications director Greg Blanchard says the event — the brainchild of Doreen Dustin — has grown and grown over the years.

“Doreen is the wife of Greg Dustin, who’s a well-known horseman in the area. She was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Blanchard told 980 CFPL. “They started a fundraising event to help out a little bit and help out other ladies going through the same thing,”

Last year, their daughter Kristine was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 33.

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“[She] was the former raceway marketing person, was one of the people who helped organize the event over the years. She was diagnosed herself about a year ago so it’s really touched the family but they’re incredible ladies, they do a wonderful job putting this event on. It’s just bigger and better every year.”

READ MORE: Knitted Knockers offer alternative for mastectomy patients in Calgary

The event involves a variety of different fundraisers and offers several prizes.

“We have a Winning Key Contest, combined value of almost $8,000 in grand prizes,” Blanchard explained.

“We’ve got a silent auction happening, penny auction, a 50-50 draw, and sponsored races throughout the night.”

Last year, Blanchard says roughly $20,000 was raised. He says in total, nearly $150,000 has been raised over the course of the past 13 Harness the Hope events.

Festivities get underway at 6:45 p.m. on Friday.