Carlton Crushes Cancer trade show raises nearly $2500 for palliative care

Carlton educational assistant Virginia Stack runs the admission table at the fundraising trade show for Carlton Crushes Cancer on Jan. 11, 2020. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

“Cancer’s not going to stop, nor am I.”

A trade show at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School on Saturday raised $2,421.35 for the Victoria Hospital Foundation.

The event is part of the Carlton Crushes Cancer fundraiser, which leads up to the girls basketball Pink Game between the Crusaders and Melfort Comets on Thursday, Jan. 23.

Several groups across the city have donated to the cause, including the Kinsmen Club, Limitless Gear, Gray Chemists Pharmacy and the Cosmopolitan Club. It’s now raised about $55,000 for palliative care.

The most recent fundraising event, the trade show, had several local businesses come together.

Carlton educational assistant Virginia Stack, who organized the trade show, has participated in Relay for Life every year since 2013.

“I had to be involved in this,” she said.

“And it kind of happened quite easily because I think everybody’s so used to me doing Relay for Life. They’re like ‘Is this for Relay for Life?’ and I’m like ‘No, it’s for Carlton.’”

The show consisted of 35 vendors, such as Patricia’s Jewellery & Art by Patricia Redhead-Laplante, Young Living by Vanessa Diehl, Maskcara Beauty by Judy Hellman, Sunset Gourmet by Jack Valorney and Handmade Crafts by Mariji Bacon. Students also sang and played piano and guitar throughout the day.

“My goal definitely was to make sure that I had not…too many of the same sort of things, and then to also have new people,” explained Stack. She said she discovered businesses she’d never heard of before, such as Valentus, a weight loss coffee business.

She came across many of these businesses when existing connections “snowballed.” She knew Laura Swenson from Scentsy, who then led her to another friend who owned a business.

Stack explained that each year a different high school is challenged to raise money for cancer.

Last year, St. Mary High School raised $89,623 through Swish for a Cure, and passed the torch on to Carlton to be this year’s host.

“As soon as I heard it was St. Mary I was like ‘Okay, it’s on,’” Stack joked. She hopes to trump their rival’s total.

“I woke up a little anxious this morning with the pressure of it,” said Stack about the trade show. But her dedication paid off because a steady stream of people came through the doors, each contributing to the thousands of dollars raised.

She was pleased with the turnout despite a couple of vendors having to cancel, likely because of the snowy weather.

“Palliative care, that’s what the fundraiser is for, so that people who…are dying and at the end stages of their lives of cancer, they can spend that time at home and have someone come and help them at home versus dying in a hospital,” she said. Stack’s aunt passed away after a four-year battle with cancer in October.

She said people often tell her there’s no cure for the life-threatening disease, but that’s all the more reason to keep pushing for one.

“Cancer’s not going to stop, nor am I.”

Doors open to the Pink Game at Carlton at 5:30 p.m., with tip-off at 7. Admission is $5.

There will also be a silent auction and a Barveenok Dancers performance at half time.