U SPORTS proudly announced Sunday its women’s basketball membership raised $115,062.70 as part of the 16th annual Shoot for the Cure campaign held January 18-29, 2023.
A total of $101,911.60 was raised in support of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), while $13,151.15 additional funds will go towards various local and provincial organizations. This brings the cumulative amount fundraised to $1,865,657.17 since the initiative launched in 2007 to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer.
Jeff Speedy, Shoot for the Cure Project Manager, Associate Director and Head Coach of women’s basketball at UNB, sees the initiative benefit both the Canadian Cancer Society and student-athletes across U SPORTS.
“It’s important for obvious reasons: to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society to find cures. But, to me, it’s bigger than that. It's also really important that our student-athletes can see the difference they can make in the world,” says Speedy.
Jeff Speedy presented Laura McLean, a volunteer with the CCS, with a cheque for $101,911.60 Sunday evening at the Sullivan Field House in Sydney, N.S., during the gold medal game of the 2023 Protocase Women’s Final 8, presented by Bell. The championship match saw Carleton Ravens defeat Queen’s Gaels 71-59 to earn their second Bronze Baby in program history.
“Thank you very much Shoot for the Cure Program! Because of your continued support, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) continues to advance cancer treatment and enables life-giving support for families affected by breast cancer across Canada. Supporters like you helped CCS to invest almost $70 million in breast cancer research projects across the country. Together, we will work towards helping more wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters have healthier outcomes and longer lives. Together, we are unstoppable.”
Canadian Cancer Society
“Anytime we raise over $100,000, we’re happy. We’ve come a long way from the humble beginnings of this initiative. We’ve built a lot of momentum and traction,” Speedy said.
Speedy also cited the history of the campaign and the fundraising influence it has built.
“Once you have a bit of history and longevity, it’s like having a successful program. It becomes easier to recruit and sets a standard for coaches and teams to stay involved.”
As the campaign inches towards the two million dollar mark, a big fundraising run next year could push the campaign to new heights.
“If someone would’ve told us back then that we would be sitting around talking about approaching two million dollars for this initiative 16, 17 years later, we all would’ve been blown away,” said Speedy. “We did a few special things when we approached $1 million. So if next year is going to be an extra special year, I want to get a committee together to figure out a special way to highlight the journey to the two million dollar figure.”
The UNB REDS coach credits his team's success to the community of student-athletes that participate at his home institution and sees that as the key to raising enough funds to hit the two million dollar mark next year.
“We find a weekend in and around the Shoot for the Cure dates where we have as many home games as possible. This year, we had volleyball, basketball, and hockey teams with home games, and our swimming and soccer teams got involved in volunteering as well,” said Speedy. “It becomes much more attainable to hit a large fundraising goal when multiple teams are involved.”
Speedy remains focused on the end goal: the campaign and what it means for future change in the world.
“If we can help the Canadian Cancer Society get a little bit closer to their dream of getting rid of cancer, that is a good by-product of everybody’s efforts.”