First-time benefit raises money for Grow On

CIBPA presents a cheque to the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation as part of its Grow Me campaign. From left, Joe Balsamo, chairperson of Surf Turfia; Houida Kassem, executive director of the WCCF; and Ferruccio De Sacco of BDO; at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, December 13, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

An initiative to raise awareness of men’s cancer has benefitted from the efforts of a group that pulled off its first-ever fundraiser.

The Canadian-Italian Business Professionals Association (CIBPA) teamed up earlier this fall with Grow On Windsor, a campaign for the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation, for a fundraiser to help raise money toward research in cancer that affects men. The fundraiser called Surf Turfia was held last month at the Caboto Club and brought in over $1,500 for Grow On Windsor.

A cheque was presented to the WCCF at a media event held Thursday at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre.

WCCF Executive Director Houida Kaseem said she was amazed by how well the fundraiser came together in a time frame shorter than that of a typical event.

“Being able to put an event like that together in itself is not easy,” said Kaseem. “A lot of people came out. We had a fantastic time, and the proceeds ended up going to Grow On.”

The CIBPA’s scholarship fund was another recipient of the funds raised.

Joe Balsamo, the chairman of Surf Turfia, said he chose to partner up with Grow On because for him, like most people, cancer is personal.

“I’ve had family members who have passed away from cancer, multiple family members,” said Balsamo. “I know everyone’s been affected that way as well. I know it touches everybody. It’s not just myself, but everybody in Windsor is affected by it, all around the world.”

Kaseem said this year’s Grow On campaign has raised over $150,000 so far. The event coincides with “Mo-vember”, where men grow beards and mustaches to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Despite the November window, Kaseem said they will likely continue taking donations for Grow On through the holiday season.

Complete information on Grow On Windsor and how to donate to it is available on their official website.