New Town Crier

pinkly speaking
up island
half-baked advice
father knows best
pictures of me
movie night
street cred
our peeps
street cred
buy stuff and support NTC

Well, the 2008 5th Annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer is officially a success. A roaring success because of your kindness and support! This year the event raised over $4.1 Million dollars. That’s right $4.1 MILLION dollars!!! I am so very proud to say that the Boobie Cakes team raised over $24,000!!

All over BC this event is helping breast cancer patients get the treatment they need to become breast cancer survivors. Your donations are funding advanced research that yields life-saving new treatments. You are making a difference!!

Friday morning our team poured ourselves into two vehicles to head off for an adventure that was truly life affirming. There was so much good spirit tucked into the cars, there was hardly room for the luggage. Sign-up on Friday night was incredible; we bonded instantly with the 1,600 other walkers and the hundreds of volunteers. All of us with that shining beacon of hope that one of the dollars we raised will be the one to push us into the ultimate goal. A cure!

Saturday morning bright and early and ready to go at 6am, we headed out to start our first day: a 36k walk! Hand in hand we stood proudly albeit teary and listened carefully to breast cancer survivors as they delivered a motivational and inspiring opening ceremony talk. Then, eyes drying, together we take our first steps into what was going to be the journey of a lifetime.

Each block—and there were many of them—we were inspired by stories from friends we met along the way, high fives from passing walkers, the safety volunteers along the route and even residents of the city. Pretty cool.

We all had different paces and throughout the day would meet each other at different pit stops. Did I mention the newly coined word for port-a-potty is sanctuary?! Uh yeah, and this time we were glad they were there. One special volunteer spent her time fabreezing them so the experience would be ‘truly’ memorable. Gotta love her! Oh the feet they got tired, though the training sure did help. We had blisters, and when required we visited the lovely med tent volunteers to have them tended to. Each pit stop had a theme yet the overall theme was the joy and camaraderie of all the people doing something positive together to make our world a better place.

Crossing that line on day one, being enveloped into a hug by your teammates, was a moment that still leaves me teary- eyed. Ahhh, together we were doing this and I am oh so happy we were! Reliving the day and enjoying an outside dinner, we planned for day two, with promises to be ready for 6am the next morning!

Day two and 24k to go, we headed off a little bleary eyed yet determined! Just as eventful as day one, again the city comes to life with walkers, volunteers and residents proudly displaying their pink ribbons in front of their homes. Cheering stations were filled with loving friends and family members. We walked, a little more tired, yet somehow with even more energy than the day before. It was a good day and we are fulfilling our promise to ourselves and to you and all of the ones we love.

Keep walking, hydrate, sanctuary, share stories, keep walking and count down the kilometers. Then, we saw it. The finish line waiting to welcome us, to recognize that this part of the journey was complete. Cemented safely into our hearts never to be forgotten; an accomplishment that has benefits to last a lifetime.

We gathered, we cheered, we hugged, we talked and high fived other walkers as they crossed the finish line, we did this until every last walker has crossed the finish line. Well done everyone, well done! It was time now for all of us—over sixteen hundred of us—to hold hands and take a few moments together to celebrate this journey, honouring those we walked for and all of you who supported us.

We and most certainly I couldn’t have done this without you! Thank you once again for all of your support!

In health,

boobie cakes

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Poetic Justice

A painful truth i choose to hide
cases closed kept deep inside
beguiling smile saving face
running naked stripped of grace

a lonely child scared and torn
raped and maimed
a woman scorned

The things i’ve yet to seek or find
the common truth or peace of mind
it’s icing or a bitter frost
this life of mine it has a cost

Remove the past and lift this weight
change my luck and twist my fate
the price i paid now free of debt
only precious things well kept

Moving on address unknown
embraced my child a woman grown
full of grace.

—by Saavin Grace

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The Disabled Seeking Employment

Year after year, people tell me to get a job, and yet everywhere I apply, they turn me down because of my disability. In the USA, there's the Americans with Disabilities Act that prohibits this.

Here in Canada, there's Employment Equity, that assures if you already have a job, and then suffer an accident that results in you becoming disabled, the company cannot legally terminate your job.

I also remember hearing a legislative ruling that any large company that hires more than 100 employees must include people with disabilities. But to get around hiring people in wheelchairs, they hire seniors to greet you at the door.

I've always thought a shopping mall would be the best place for people in wheelchairs to work, as there's no steps leading into each store. But go into the Bay Center or Mayfair or Hillside and see if you can find ONE store that has a person in a wheelchair that WORKS there! Ask people if they have anyone with a disability working for them, and you'll probably get some lame excuse, like nobody's ever applied.

I applied to Sport Chek and got told they want to draw customers in, not drive them away! To me that's discrimination, and I tried taking it to the Ministry of Human Rights, only to be told that unless I get it in writing, it's just hear-say. You'd think the fact that I'm not working there would be evidence enough? I applied for a job but they said No.

Over and over, when I complain of financial burdens, people say I should get a job, but the only places that will take people like me, are places seeking volunteers.

Last year I took a Job Training Program and got sent to numerous places in town, and each place gave me great marks. But at the bottom of each report, they were asked if they would be willing to hire me, and they all said NO for liability reasons, but they'll gladly take me as a Volunteer! Sure... I do the work and they get paid!

I'm 46 years old and never had a job. Just lots of Volunteering at Community Events year after year.

To get around the Legal System, they claim it's for Public Safety. Keeping me out of the way makes things safer for the rest of society.

When I finished High School in 1982, I was classed by the Government as Unemployable. Been living on Disability Income ever since at $900 a month. Subtract $600 Rent and $120 in Bills = $180 for food ($6 a day).The government figures that's all we need.

Still looking for work, but the only people who will take me... want Volunteers.

—Matthew Ford

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