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Run for the Cure competition heats up as in-person run returns

'To be able to experience the joy of community as well as remembering those that we may have lost'
2022 09 16 run for cure presser
Melanie Gainforth, local organizer for the local Run for the Cure event, speaks to the media at the North Bay Police Services building. Photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.

North Bay's Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure event is once again back. 

Once again emergency services have elected to have a fundraising competition with the losing teams having to get their nails painted as part of the pink manicure challenge.  

North Bay Police Chief Scott Tod was on the losing end of the competition last year. Tod says it was not easy going to multiple functions as the police chief sporting pink nail polish. 

"Last year I was not aware I only had to wear it for a day or two," admitted Tod.  

"I wore it for a week and ran into many people across our community and outside our community and I had to explain the story to everyone why I was wearing pink fingernail polish. I still received many looks from people about why would the chief of police from North Bay have pink nail polish on at a conference." 

Stephen Kirk, Chief of Nipissing Paramedic Services, was on the winning end of the pink manicure challenge last year. 

"Over the years we have done a number of fundraising initiatives. Last year we were thankful, we were not able to do a  lot of things because of COVID-19 so we depended on our frontline staff and our stakeholders to step forward and they shone through," said Kirk. 

 Melanie Gainforth, the Run for the Cure volunteer director for the event says in 17 years they have raised $1.3 million for breast cancer research and education programs.  Their goal for this year's event is $50,000.  

She loves the local pink manicure challenge. 

"The emergency services have always been supporters of our event however they instigated this pink manicure challenge two years ago so this in its third year has grown into six teams so we are very excited to have their support and initiate their own challenge," she said. 

Now the MTO, the North Bay OPP and the Anishinabek Police have also joined the competition this year.   

The event itself ruly hits home on many levels for North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whiteley. 

"It has touched me in a lot of ways," admitted Whiteley. 

"My mom passed away from breast cancer when she was 54, my grandmother had breast cancer but she was able to survive until she was 96. She fought it off for a long time and I lost my dad to cancer. I have also lost a lot of friends in the fire service to cancer too."  

The CIBC Run for the Cure will also take place in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic.  Gainforth says that should really give the event and fundraising a boost. 

"Our first COVID year was not that hard, we rallied together as a team and we were going to put forth a big effort, year two was exhausting and the community showed it, unfortunately, it is hard to rally and support an event," admitted Gainforth. 

"This year we are so excited to be able to gather, to be able to celebrate our wives, and our mothers; the survivors. To be able to experience the joy  of community as well as remembering those that we may have lost." 

The in-person event will take place on Sunday, October 2 at the North Bay Waterfront off Memorial Drive. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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