On Oct. 7 I attended the kick-off event for the second annual Read for the Cure fundraising series at Steam Whistle Brewery, and I’m still buzzing from a magical evening. Read for the Cure is a non-profit, volunteer group of Canadian women raising funds for cancer research through campaigns involving books and reading. You can read more about their story here . The fundraising events, which are sponsored by Random House of Canada, raised over $20,000 in 2007! Tickets are just $75, and include the latest book by the three authors participating. Over 300 people came to see last night’s event with three extraordinary authors!
Elizabeth Hay, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning Late Nights on Air, spoke about her love of reading (lots of stories about War and Peace, her mother, and a chip truck driver!) — she is so eloquent I could have listened to her all night long. Miram Toews (The Flying Troutmans) spoke about the seeds of writing inspiration — well, specifically she told a hilarious story involving a pit bull she befriended in a desolate Mexican town while filming a movie about Mennonites. You really had to be there! And Jan Wong gave the background story behind her latest book, Beijing Confidential; a sad but faith-inducing story about finding a woman she had betrayed during the Cultural Revolution. You could hear a pin drop as her story reached its climax. Through it all, Carolyn Weaver emceed the affair and I am proud to say the evening raised over $20,000 for The Cancer Research Society.
I attend a lot of author events, but none are as meaningful as Read for the Cure events where readers — mostly book clubs — gather to celebrate writing and authors, while fundraising.