Megan Bukta was too young to remember her mom’s cancer struggle but now, as an adult, she’s helping others with their battles.
Bukta, 27, is a volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society and, as such, helps raise funds that go towards cancer research, prevention initiatives, and support programs.
She credits such dollars with helping her mom, Michelle Rickaby, to survive Hodgkin’s lymphoma when Butka was just three years old, and she wants to return the favour.
This includes assisting with the Cancer Society’s latest fundraiser – Slopes for Hope, taking place Sunday, Feb. 9 at Hemlock Resort.
The event invites skiers and boarders to raise pledges and then spend the day on the slopes. They can attempt to ski or board the height of Mount Everest, which requires 22 runs, either as individuals or a team.
Wacky costumes are encouraged.
Registration is $10 (free for kids under 12), and those who raise more than $100 receive a free lift pass for the day, as well as the first run of the day.
Nicola Romaniuk, annual giving co-ordinator with the Fraser Valley region of the Cancer Society, said the event, taking place on the Family Day long weekend, is designed for the whole family.
The top fundraising team receives a two-night stay during spring break for up to 10 people at Snowflake Resort Chalets at Hemlock Resort or a three-night stay during the summer.
Prizes are also awarded for the top individual fundraiser and the best team spirit.
About $13,000 was raised last year – the first time the event was held at Hemlock Resort – and the goal is $16,000 this time around.
All proceeds go to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Bukta, a marketing assistant in Abbotsford at University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), has helped promote Slopes for Hope by distributing posters and pamphlets and posting information on social media.
She will also participate as a skier and hopes to form a team from UFV.
“It seems like a really fun thing to do, and it’s family-oriented,” she said.
Bukta has volunteered with the Cancer Society for about 10 years through events such as the Relay for Life, the Daffodil Campaign and Cops for Cancer.
“It just means a lot that people go out there to help raise money for research that will raise our survivor rates,” she said.
Randy Murphy, director of resort services at Hemlock Resort, said the site is excited to be hosting the second annual Slopes for Hope.
“Last year, Slopes for Hope exceeded all expectations for a first-year event, raising over $13,000 for cancer research,” he said. “It’s going to be an awesome day.”
The Hemlock Resort event is among five Slopes for Hope fundraisers taking place in B.C. and the closest one to the Fraser Valley.