A Hunt for the Cure

A Gala Fundraiser in support of the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

May 18, 2018

This past weekend, Saturday, May 12th, 2018, the Manitoba Metis Heritage Fund (MMHF) in partnership with the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), successfully hosted their second annual fundraising gala, A Hunt for the Cure, in support of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg, MB. The event was hosted by MMHF Board Chair Minister Denise Thomas and Honourary Chair Mr. H. Sanford Riley.

The theme for the evening was “A Hunt for the Cure”. As you walked through the doors into the main lobby, volunteers were dressed in traditional Metis clothing—some carrying baskets and others playing familiar Metis fiddle music. The reception featured a traditional Metis hunting cabin with Metis dancing and fiddle music where guests were able to have their photos taken in the Metis cabin.

The co-emcees for the evening, Rachel Legacé from CTV and Metis Elder Oliver Boulette, welcomed the guests and gave some background information on how many Manitobans are or will be afflicted by cancer in their lives, as well as how many families the disease touches. They also spoke about the positive work that CancerCare does, not only in finding better treatments but also in how a more inclusive interaction of families is needed.

President David Chartrand also spoke of how cancer has touched his own family and how he was very proud that the funds raised this year would go towards all Manitobans who would be fighting the disease. “Metis citizens in Manitoba realize that we must all do our part to combat this disease,” said Chartrand. “It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, what kind of job you have, what the colour of your skin is or which neighbourhood or community you live in - cancer touches us all, and we must all do our part to make things better for those it hurts.”

As Honourary Co-chair, Sanford Riley provided the guests a view on his own struggles with cancer and how he was treated at CancerCare Manitoba, in one of the best facilities across the country. Riley’s words of support and encouragement for those attending and raising money for the worthy cause was also underlined by his message of hope that treatments will continue to progress because of fundraising being done by funds like the MMHF.

Keynote speakers for the evening included cancer survivors Hunter Goodon and Sherelle Kwan. Hunter, who just finished his second year of biology at Brandon University, spoke about how leukemia affected him and his family when he was diagnosed at 2 1/2 years of age and how difficult it was for his family.

“While I don’t remember a lot about those years, I do know how hard it was on my family,” said Goodon. “When children get sick, it’s not just the child that is impacted, their entire family suffers.”

Goodon continued, “It is for this reason that for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to become a pediatric oncologist. I believe it is what I was meant to do - to help other kids fight and beat cancer, and to know that there is a life for them beyond the hospital.”

Sherelle spoke of her diagnosis, her treatment and her desire to also give back and assist others in treatment. Her story consisted of a diagnosis when she was in university and the emotional and physical hardships that ensued, and even of the struggle to have a family with her husband years after her treatments. Despite her long journey, Sherelle and her husband are expecting a healthy baby girl within the next few weeks.

Entertainment throughout the evening was provided by Clint and Riley Dutiaume in the Metis hunting cabin. Dan Deeds entertained the audience in the ballroom over dinner. Elder George Fleury provided a blessing in Michif before everyone sat down for an amazing meal featuring a traditional Métis inspired menu, with items such pickerel, venison, wild rice and saskatoon blueberries.

Individuals attending the gala were encouraged to take part in both the Silent Auction and the Rainbow Auction throughout the evening. These auctions would not have been possible without the generous donations of our supporting companies and organizations.

A live auction took place later on in the evening. Led by Rachel Atherton, the auction featured three spectacular prizes, which included: a custom tailor-made leather rifle case with Metis floral beadwork by world renowned Metis designer Jennine Krauchi; an all-inclusive trip to Churchill, Manitoba, including two guided tours; as well as a meet and skate with Team Canada Manitoba Olympian Jocelyn Larocque along with Jocelyn’s autographed game used stick from the gold medal game in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The MMHF is a registered non-profit charity of the MMF. Its mission is to support economically disadvantaged individuals, children, and families of the Manitoba Metis Community.

All funds raised on behalf of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation will stay in Manitoba to help deliver the best research, patient care, treatment and support for all patients living with cancer and their families throughout the province. Proceeds from the event will be put towards patient and family support services, allowing CancerCare Manitoba to continue its efforts toward improved care for underserved populations in general and Metis, First Nations, and Inuit peoples in particular.

The MMHF Board of Directors, along with MMF government representatives will make a public presentation of the proceeds to the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation at a later date.

Thank You to the Following Sponsors