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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tug For Tatas on Cancer Survivors Day

The weather might have been cloudy with the threat of rain, but it was all sunshine-like smiles on the faces of those who pulled a semi-truck and trailer today at Tug For Tatas in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada - at a cancer awareness fundraiser on National Cancer Survivors Day.

Don't you just love the cake? The ribbons represent the colours of cancer.

Yes, these are the people who organized this event - to raise funds for Breast Cancer Action Saskatchewan (BCAS)

This was the second Tug For Tatas event they've held, and I was honoured to be invited to both of these fun(d)raisers. As I said in my blog about the 2012 Tug For Tatas, Tug For Tatas is the brainchild of Tracy Thompson, owner/manager of two Curves fitness centres in Regina. Tug For Tatas 2012 invited teams of women to show their strength by pulling (tugging) a semi-truck and trailer 100 yards. Thompson and Sandi Ellert Day, the owner/manager of the other two Curves fitness centres in Regina, enthusiastically worked together on the project.

Jill Collins, president of BCAS, welcomed participants to this year's event with Tracy Thompson of Curves Regina fitness outlets on Jill's right. (The camera lies. Tracy's jacket is pink, not purple.)

 So while the teams were registering, I set up a table to show off our Never Leave Your Wingman book, about our favourite eight-time cancer survivor Dionne Warner ... and I was reminiscing about how the semi-truck driver in 2012 was Graham Warner of Warner Industries (and Dionne's husband and wingman, of course) ...

...when all of a sudden, Graham came around the corner and surprised the heck out of me! I thought he was supposed to be out of town (his plans changed, he said), so I was pleased to see him at this event, once again donating his time and the use of a Warner Industries semi and trailer for the cause. Thank you, Graham!

And then ... I convinced Graham that he and I should take advantage of the photo booth set up for survivors and everyone else who wanted to post their pictures on the National Cancer Survivors Day board (see top photo).

Graham's a good sport - as you will know by reading the Wingman book - so off we went to the photo booth...

And this was the result.

Oh, yes. We grabbed a couple of props for the occasion.
What? Did you think we always wear these hats? 
Well, okay. Graham might - when it's time for Dionne's chemo treatment and she tells him what outfit she has lined up for him that day. But that's another story - the Never Leave Your Wingman story, to be exact.

But now back to Tug For Tatas.

The teams went outside, in front of the Conexus Arts Centre beside Wascana Creek, and warmed up with a little Zumba. 

Then the teams took turns trying to pull the 47,000-pound semi and trailer the distance of 100 yards.
Graham's job was to sit behind the wheel, put the truck in neutral, honk the horn when the teams were to start pulling, steer the truck straight during the pull, honk the horn when the teams got the truck to the 100-yard mark, then skilfully back up the big beast of a truck-trailer to the starting line again.

And he did a fine job. See?

What? You can't see him?

There he is!

So let's get this party started.

Curves Regina's Tracy Thompson took control of the microphone when Big Dog 92.7 radio staff grabbed the rope and took a turn at the challenge.

This is where the challenge began.

Teams pulled ...

... and pulled ...

... and pulled ...

... using all their might ...

... while enjoying the 'tatas holders' attached to the front of the semi.

This year, there were co-ed teams, which added a whole new level of pulling to the event.
Everyone's affected by this disease, and it was great to see men out there lending their strength and support on Cancer Survivors Day.

Members of Breast Cancer Action Saskatchewan got in on the fun with their own team. Well done, ladies!

After all the teams had pulled, the call went up to see how 'few' people could pull the semi. This trio of men was up for the challenge.

And this was the goal - pulling the semi to the 100-yard marker. 
Every team did it! And every team was cheered on as they worked their way toward that finish line.

But wait.
The event was not over.
Members of Regina's finest - female Regina City Police officers - arrived to lend their might to the cause.

But first, a photo opp for the police women with semi-truck driver (and our favourite wingman) Graham Warner, and Curves Regina's Sandi Ellert Day and Tracy Thompson.

Okay. Now you can pull, ladies!

And pull they did! Good job! (They made it look easy.)

And here are the winning teams - with Tracy Thompson and Jill Collins: 
The ladies' team.

The co-ed team (minus some members who had to leave early).

And the best-dressed team. Nice tutus, folks.
They called themselves #boobs (Hashtag Boobs). Fun, huh?

So a good time was had by all.
More cancer awareness happened.
Cancer survivors were celebrated.
Money was raised for a worthy charity. 
And finally ...

The rain stayed away until everyone was on their way home.

Good job, Tug For Tatas! We'll see you next time!

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