Mary Ogaki, National Account Manager - Canada, Royal Caribbean International, holds onto her WinterBoob(s)
Transat Distribution's Rita Polegri and Marlin Travel's Franca Cuzzupe participating in the Bra Project
Air Canada's Duncan Bureau, VP, Global Sales, in this year's Baboobshka Bamboozle
David McCaig, President, ACTA, tries his hand at the Great Bra Off
WinterBoob creators: Nina Slawek and Suzanne Christie
We had it all: a glorious sunny day, terrific turnout, gobs of fun, and… open wallets. I declare the 12th annual OpenJaw WinterBoob at Hockley Valley Resort a huge success.
Over 120 “boobers” registered for the daylong event, which combines the great outdoors on the resort’s own ski slopes with the great indoors – spa lounging with your industry colleagues as well as some truly, deeply, wacky games. Plus great food and a glass of wine... or 2.
As always there were a raft of industry A listers including Duncan Bureau, AC V.P. Global Sales; Jeff Element, TravCorp President; Cris David, Insight President; CAA V.P. Brenda Kyllo and Denise Heffron, V.P. National Sales & Commercial at Transat. Mix in more industry suppliers such as insurance companies, banks and tourist boards; top up with consortia honchos, head office execs; hoteliers and front liners and you get the picture.
It’s a tribute to Open Jaw that folks come from far and wide to the event – not just the GTA. Our long distance visitors included Jan Lapointe of AMResorts; Nicole Mazza and Cathie Lewis-Hardy of Travelsavers; Alio’s Michele Rauzon and Colton Chia of TPI (also the best-dressed Winterboober). Winning the prize for longest-trip-never-happened was Trafalgar President Doug Patterson, sadly stuck in YYT thanks to the weather.
As wacky and fun as Winterboob is, it also has its serious side. Every year some of the breast cancer survivors present speak of their experience and their gratitude that so many advances have been made. CAA’s Dianne Jackson again spoke movingly (“Every year they ask me to come here and make people cry,” she said, a little jokingly) reminding us that 67 people are diagnosed every day in Canada with breast cancer. It was doubly emotional when, prompted by Dianne, 6 breast cancer survivors joined her on the stage.
The “main event” is surely the auction, held during dinner (and online prior to the day). In total $34,990 was raised from that alone with the top price of $5,000 being a weeklong Avalon Waterways European river cruise which Air Canada topped up with air.
Over the years, the folks at Open Jaw – notably founders Suzanne Christie and Nina Slawek, have raised some $400,000 for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. That’s an amazing amount of love and fellowship and caring. And fun.
A very simple new concept was added to the WinterBoob fund raising efforts this year – and it’s not too late to show your support with just a couple of keystrokes on your mobile phone.
To make a $10 donation, simply send a text to 41010, type ‘support wboob’ in the message field on your cellphone and press ‘Send.’ When you receive a text message asking you to confirm your donation, type in ‘Yes’ and you’re done.
The full $10 will go to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Use hashtag #WinterBoob to encourage your Twitter followers and Facebook friends and colleagues to text a $10 donation too.