The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

Relay for Life May 7, 2010

Filed under: Life — Rebecca Coleman @ 5:27 am
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This is a business blog, not a personal one. I hope, though, that you will forgive me one personal post. I wouldn’t be using my blog as a platform unless it was incredibly important, and something I feel deeply about.

Mom and I at one of my University graduations

A little more than two years ago, I lost my mom to Cancer. My mother was a very stubborn lady, a trait that served her well in the three years that she fought the cancer. They were tough times. We spent a lot of time in the hospital, because no matter what kind of chemo they tried on her, they all made her very sick. There were operations, a colostomy, a permanent needle in her arm. She pushed through it all. But in the end, while her mind was still willing to fight, her body couldn’t do it any more, and, early in the morning of April 14, 2008, she passed away, with my dad and my brother by her side.

Cancer has touched my life far too much. Both of my mother’s parents died of it, within 6 months of each other, and my dad’s parents had brushes with it as well. My dad’s sister has breast cancer. My dear friend Babz Chula is fighting three types of cancer.

It felt like it was time to do something about it. Earlier this year, my brother, Don and my sister-in-law, Simi, decided to enter the Relay for Life, and I have joined on as a team member. Simi has also lost her mother to cancer, leaving my nephew, Dylan, who’s 8, without a grandma.

On June 5, we will be participating in the Relay for Life in Coquitlam. Our team, Lil Dude’s Crew (Lil’ Dude is Dylan) has committed to raising $5000 for cancer research.

Here’s the official blurb:

Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life changing fundraising event that gives you and your community the opportunity to Celebrate cancer survivors, Remember and honour loved ones lost to cancer, and Fight Back for a future without cancer.

Funds raised help the Canadian Cancer Society save lives by funding leading cancer research, offering support services to those in need and leading prevention initiatives. Relay participants commit to raising a minimum of $100 for the Canadian Cancer Society. The average participant in Canada raises $350. Challenge yourself and your team, the more money raised, the bigger the difference.

During this non-competitive fun-filled event, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps around the track. Each team is asked to at least have one member of your team on the track at all times throughout the event.

Mom and Dylan

On May 15, we’ll be holding a Fundraiser at The Press Box, 2889 East Hastings St (by the PNE). There will be live music (a rare appearance by the Artie Devlin Trio), door prizes and raffles, and the $20 cover includes a burger and a bevvie. Click here for the Facebook event.

Click here to see my personal page, and to donate.

Thank you for helping us to create a world without cancer.

UPDATE, MAY 7:  This morning, Babz Chula passed away. She was a shining light in our community, and I feel honoured to have known her and worked with her these last few months. Babz was one of those people that you instantly fell in love with the moment you met her. She was one in a million, and I will miss her deeply. But her suffering is over, and she is at peace.


Website Makeover: Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists Society January 15, 2010

In May of last year, I was doing a job for my dear friend Carrie Ruschinski, Dying City. It was being directed by Ben Ratner. One day I got a phone call from Ben, asking if I’d be interested in taking on administrative duties for a society he was president of: The Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists. Things were winding down for the summer, so I agreed to meet with Babz.

For any of you who know Babz, this will come as no surprise, but I fell in love with her the moment I met her. Babz has three different types of Cancer, and a few years back, when she had her first bout with Breast Cancer, this group of friends rallied together to form a society to help pay for her medial bills–specifically, treatments not covered by MSP.

So, I took the job on, but in short order, I stopped asking to be paid. My mother died of Cancer, so helping someone else’s mother beat it seems like reward enough to me.

It became apparent to me pretty quickly that the society needed a new website. Donations had basically stopped trickling in, and the site was very old, static, and simple. There was basically one page, not unattractively designed, but I knew it could be so much more.

In the fall, my sweetie, Dave, who works as an instructor at Capilano University’s Interactive Design program, was teaching a course in Project Management, and asked if I had an non-profit clients that needed a website built. It would be a kind of practicum or internship for his students. Needless to say, the Society jumped at the chance, and we were assigned a team of students: Laura Mason as project manager, Sabrina Franco, and Thomas Matthews.

The goal was to create a site that was more interesting, interactive, and easily updateable. Babz had been blogging about her experience of cancer treatment, but the blog lived in two different places, and we needed an admin person to upload her posts. We also wanted to incorporate video, seeing as Babz is a film actor. Finally, we wanted to be able to let folks know what was going on inside the society: celebrity dinners, fund raising efforts, etc.

Here is the old website:

The new website was created using WordPress, and the team created a custom Theme for us. We now have the blog built right in, as well as information about the Board of Directors, Babz, and I’m able to upload photos and stories. I filmed a video Babz doing a video introduction, and we hope that she will eventually be able to do Vlog posts (when she returns from India). It’s a great site, and I’m very proud.

Go to the website and browse around for yourself.

A very special thanks to Dave Rankin, Laura Mason, Sabrina Franco, and Thomas Matthews, and the Interactive Design Department at Capilano University.

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