The Canadian Cancer Society is promoting its “Girls Night In” this Tuesday as a means of raising awareness and money for cancer prevention, information and support services. The event comes in advance of Women’s Cancer Awareness Month in October.
“It’s about getting all the girls together and instead of going out for a girls’ night out, instead they stay in and maybe get together, have a little event and the money that they would normally spend on a night out, then they donate to the Cancer Society,” Canadian Cancer Society Prince Albert unit manager Charlene Bernard said. “Our tagline is that it’s a chance for women across Saskatchewan to support each other, have some fun and raise awareness and money for women’s cancer.”
Girls Night In began as a small initiative in Australia in 2004 before spreading to foreign shores. Each year the program raises $4 million in Australia, Canada and other countries.
An estimated 960 women in Saskatchewan will be diagnosed with breast, cervical, ovarian or uterine cancer in 2012, while an estimated 250 deaths will result from those illnesses. Last year saw a trial run for Girls Night In in Saskatchewan, but this year marks the program’s official provincial debut.
While the Cancer Society will be hosting its own events at different branches, the desired outcome is much more decentralized. Women are encouraged to host their own events, with the particulars entirely up to the hosts. For example, individuals have the option of telling guests to bring a minimum donation if desired.
“It doesn’t even have to be on the night,” Bernard said. “It can be something that you do in the morning, it could be at noon, it could be at night. So it could be things like just … coming over and getting together and having a few drinks at home, and people would maybe say, ‘OK, well, normally I’d spend $20,’ they bring $20. It could be where they maybe arrange to be pampered and they have pedicures, or they have a palm reader come in for fun.”
Instead of going out for a girls’ night out ... they stay in and maybe get together, have a little event and the money that they would normally spend on a night out, then they donate to the Cancer Society. - Charlene Bernard
All 10 Saskatchewan units of the Canadian Cancer Society will be hosting their own events on Tuesday to kick off Girls Night In. Prince Albert’s variation is known as the “mind and body sampler.”
“It is going to be a sample of belly dancing, a sample of tai chi and a sample of yoga,” Bernard said. “So we’re inviting all of the women to come and have a little try at belly dancing, tai chi, yoga, and they can bring a healthy snack if they like and share it, or just see what else is there. It’s just to come out and have some fun and raise a little money and awareness.”
Guests are free to bring whatever donations they wish to the mind and body sampler, which begins at the local Canadian Cancer Society office on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Participants in Girls Night Out are not required to register, but those who register online before Oct. 15 at www.girlsnightinforlife.ca are entered into a draw for an iPad 2, alongside other advantages.
“By registering it online … you can post pictures on there, people can actually donate to your event if they like, people can also register to come to your event on there,” Bernard said. “So it’s kind of a fun little link to promote your event.”