Winterboob 2019 Sets Attendance, Fundraising Record
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Event raises estimated $70,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
After a four-year hiatus, the travel industry came out in full force to support Open Jaw's 12th Winterboob.
There was a celebratory atmosphere among the 120 travel industry guests – a new record -- who revelled in the rebirth of the winter event at Hockley Valley Resort.
With the ballroom awash in a sea of pink, Winterboobers ate, drank, schmoozed, decorated bras, played games and listened to the sweet sounds of Denise FX, who has provided music for every single edition of the event.
At Winterboob the focus is always on fun, but fund raising for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is the very serious mission. Every penny raised from ticket sales, live and online auctions, sponsorships and a 50/50 draw goes directly to the Foundation.
With that in mind -- drum roll please – we're thrilled to announce that Winterboob 2019 raised record funds of approximately $70,000, as the Canadian travel industry from coast to coast gave its full support to the cause.
Many guests took advantage of the warm weather to enjoy a few runs on Hockley's ski hill. Paying no heed to the heckling of the spectators, Trafalgar's Wolf Paunic came in first place in the 'Knocker Them Dead' Slalom Ski Race.
It was a fun-filled day between all the themed games -- Titty Toss, Bra Pong, The Great Bra-Off Competition and Dirty Scrabble among them -- delicious dining, open bar and Bahama Mamas, but Winterboobers are always ready to get serious and dig deep for the cause.
That time came when ACV's Senior Director of Sales Dana Gain and several other prominent industry women shared their stories of how breast cancer has touched their own lives. Gain drew laughs with a poem crammed with boob references.
Dianne Jackson, Director Travel & Retail Product at CAA South Central Ontario shared her family history and her own story of dealing with breast cancer, a disease that killed her grandmother at 36, her aunt at 41 and her mother at 42.
She spoke about her relief at finding out she didn't have any of the cancer genes she was tested for – including BRCA1 and BRCA2, the most common breast cancer genes – only to be floored when she was diagnosed with a type of breast cancer that doesn't manifest as a lump, but rather a flat row of cells that makes it harder to localize.
Jackson powerfully advocated for early detection and finding a cure so that future generations don't need to go through what she did. Although we have come a long way in diagnosis and treatment, cancer still kills, she emphasized.
"I don't know how to tell her not to be afraid," she said, speaking of her daughter Cassandra who also attended the event and was invaluable in helping her mother during breast cancer treatment procedures.
Jackson's speech served as a reminder that all funds from Winterboob go directly to the Breast Cancer Foundation to work towards finding a cure. As always, her passionate words inspired guests to bid on fantastic trips donated by sponsors. In total, $27,500 was raised from the live auction alone.
Wrapping up the evening, each guest was presented with a single long-stemmed rose by TPI's Colton Chia, its colour symbolizing a dual commemoration of both why we were there and a small homage to organizer Open Jaw's identifying colour: pink.
We couldn't have achieved the record results without the hard work of the Winterboob organizing committee, the many event sponsors, Open Jaw staff and all the 'Boobers who came out to play. A hearty thank you to all.