2011 in Review

The Strength and Fitness Training began in January (view) as the Warriors worked to remain healthy through exercise. Following a program designed for paddling (view) but beneficial for all breast cancer survivors, the Warriors used the weight training equipment at West Ferris Secondary (view) once a week from January through April. The evening session ends with the ‘plank’ (view) , a true test of fitness and strength!

The Warriors held their Annual General Meeting where special guest speaker Penny Tremblay gave an inspiring message that challenged the membership to keep working to achieve the goals of the organization as well as their own objectives in the year ahead. In March, a number of Warriors attended the ‘Gown on the Town’ event that sets the stage for the CIBC Run for the Cure later in the year.

The YMCA pool was the location for a Water Safety session on May 15. The purpose of the event was to familiarize the Warriors with what happens when a person goes into the water with their PFD in the unlikely event of a capsize. Warrior Bonnie, who has some experience with sudden dunking, demonstrated (view) from the side of the pool (view). Everyone tried it even though some of the Warriors are not comfortable with the water (view). The training is part of the Warriors of Hope Safety Policy as the team makes every effort to keep safety at the top of the list during training and events.

The Annual Yard Sale was a cool and damp event this year (view) but dressed for the weather (view) the Warriors greeted bargain hunters with their usual enthusiasm. The tents helped to keep merchandise dry (view). Our sincere thank you to everyone who attended and especially to Paul who helped to arrange the site on Fisher Street.

Training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings is normal for the team but there was a special effort to get up to speed for the Montreal Festival due in late July. A special Warrior, Tish Wilson, was in the drummer’s seat for this practice ( youtube link ) Tish, one of the original founders, was moving out of town. The Warriors paddle across trout Lake to a sheltered cove for their practice ( youtube link ).

New Liskeard
The Warriors (and friends) travelled to New Liskeard again this year to participate in their annual Dragon Boat Festival. The team pulled ahead in their first race (view) and despite the cool day, were warmed up and ready for the next races. Chris and Anita prepared the carnations for the Carnation Ceremony which is always a big hit (view) with the other teams and spectators. In the boat there was the usual chatter before the race (view).

The Team travelled to Montreal, PQ on July 22 to attend their largest ( over 240 teams) Festival. Although the Breast Cancer division numbered 8 teams, there were a large number of all-women’s teams with younger and fit women in great racing form. The weekend also proved to be one of the hottest on record and keeping cool and hydrated was a priority for everyone. The team had good form as they marshalled for the first race ( youtube link ). That good form showed in the race as well ( youtube link ) as the team posted a time of 2.32.15 over the 500 metres. In race Heat 2 ( youtube link ) the Warriors, in Boat 5, again did very well. The final result was that the Warriors of Hope took home the bronze medal for their 3rd place finish in the Breast Cancer Division.

A special treat for everyone was watching a demonstration sprint by the top five teams in the festival. While the Warriors know they can never match the stroke rate of the strong men’s team in blue, it was an inspiring show of dragon boating ( youtub link ) .

The Warriors travelled to Woodstock, Ontario for a dragon boat festival on August 6. The team brought home a gold medal in the Breast Cancer Survivors’ division. Posing with the winning team (view) is the local Scotiabank manager. Scotiabank is a proud supporter of Breast Cancer teams and it was good to have them with us for the photo op.

The Weed Warriors have nurtured their flower bed at the waterfront with great results this summer. The display of the pink petunia ribbon (view) attracts many people who pause and reflect on the breast cancer symbol.

The Run for the Cure is October 2 this year but the CIBC held a kick-off dinner at the Davedi Club in August. Representatives from the Warriors of Hope were in attendance and were delighted to receive a special plaque commemorating the team’s contribution of over $28,000 in donations in the past 6 years.

The team held their 7th annual golf tournament at Clear Springs Golf course on September 10. This is the Warriors’ main fund-raising event and it was their best ever with a full registration of 36 teams. Once again, the weather cooperated and it was a perfect day, especially for the winning team (view) of Doug Perry, Rob Macdonald, Wayne Gravelle and Jamie Hone ( by retrogression!). The dining tables were graced by pink carnations (view) donated by From the Heart flowers. A big thank you to the hole sponsors and prize donors (view) who help make our tournament such a success. Coach Nikki was an excellent Emcee and a special thanks goes to the committee and team volunteers for running the tournament.

The Run for the Cure on October 2 was once again a very successful event in North Bay. The Warriors team collected just over $8,400 to retain their title as the top women’s fundraising team (view) . Warrior Sylvia Grey led the team in collecting donations for the event that funds research into a cure for breast cancer. It was a cool day so everyone in the crowd joined in the dance exercise (view) before the ‘Run’ began at the North Bay Waterfront.

We put ‘Jane’, our boat, into hibernation until next spring, thanks to the organization by Dave. Daylight had faded due to an unforeseen delay but we believe Bonnie held the flashlight for this simulated photo (view)! Thanks again to the North Bay Firefighters who help turn the boat each spring and fall.


Instead of waiting until January 2012 a number of Warriors jumped at the chance to begin the Strength and Fitness Training early November at West Ferris Secondary. More Warriors will join the ranks to continue weekly training in January until our boat, Jane, is in the water.

The Warriors of Hope celebrated their annual Christmas party in late November this year at Average Joes. The location was especially good as the view reminded the team of the hours spent training on Trout Lake every Tuesday and Thursday. Each year the Warriors award a peer selected member the Kathy Sirrs Award. This award is based on team spirit, dedication and strength. The 2011 Kathy Sirrs Award was presented to a very well deserving Betty Burns (view). As in past years the party was an opportunity for the team to gather outside the boat (view) while they raise some money for the Santa Fund and review their past year of paddling (view). This year the team raised $605 which they donated to the North Bay Santa Fund in December.

December was a month of giving and receiving for the Warriors of Hope.

On December 4, the bravest Warriors weathered the cold and participated in the North Bay Santa Clause Parade (view).

On December 16, the Warriors, represented by Chris, Gloria and Shelley, were at Twiggs coffee shop on the corner of Fraser and Worthington to join the EZ Rock hosts to present a cheque to the North Bay Santa Fund (view). Chris made the on-air announcement (view) that the Warriors had raised $605 at their Christmas party this year.

On December 30, Bruce Monroe and Grant Guy, representing Scotiabank, presented a cheque for $10,000 (view) to the Team Captain, Chris MacMillan and Paddling members of the Warriors, Lynne Allard, Elizabeth Chirico and Gloria Kelusky. We all thanked Bruce and Grant for Scotiabank’s continuing support that is so important in helping the Warriors of Hope meet their mandate of breast cancer awareness and promoting an active lifestyle after breast cancer.