Publishing stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver - author, editor, and publisher of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan. We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also publish genres of healing and wellness, humour, children's fiction, and rural poetry. Visit our website to learn more about our books.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tug For Tatas - a blast!

One of the perks of being the author of an inspiring book about a seven-time (now-eight-time) cancer survivor is being invited to various cancer awareness fundraisers. We meet the most wonderful people at these events, all joining together to support a great cause. One such event was Curves First Annual Tug For Tatas, held yesterday at Evraz Place in Regina, raising funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

The brainchild of Tracy Thompson, owner/manager of two Curves fitness centres in Regina, Tug For Tatas 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. Yesterday, they cheered on several teams of strong, committed women while they tugged and pulled, screamed and yelled in their efforts to move that semi from its starting point to the finish line.


The semi and trailer were supplied for the event by Graham Warner of Warner Industries in Regina. Graham, of course, is the other half of the story in my book Never Leave Your Wingman: Dionne and Graham Warner's Story of Hope. Dionne had already successfully battled breast and brain cancer by 2001 when she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She had just moved to Saskatchewan to be with Graham. She told him he did not have to marry her - she would go back to her family and doctors in Toronto. Graham, a successful businessman and experienced pilot, quickly replied, "You never leave your wingman." Since then, Graham has stood (and danced in costume) beside his beloved Dionne as she's battled two liver cancers, Stage IV liver, lung and bone cancers and is now in a fight against liver cancer.
Here, Graham and Dionne Warner show their strength together as they tug on the rope to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Al and I tried our hands at tugging for tatas ... but with a bad shoulder and a bad back, we decided to leave the real tugging to the teams.

Lovin' the decorations on the truck!

The Regina Rage of the Lingerie Football League was the first team
 to tug at the truck. Thanks for your support of a great cause, ladies!

Teams were dutifully photographed (for posterity and for fun) and were cheered along every step of the way by Tracy (below in black shirt on the left) and Sandi (below in black shirt on the right).

Here's a view from inside the truck. Graham Warner sat at the steering wheel and wondered about adding a load of gravel next year to give these strong woman an even greater challenge. Many of the teams had no trouble tugging this 40,000-pound semi and trailer to the finish line.
It was exhilarating each time a team reached the finish line. This accomplishment was celebrated by the crowd's cheers and a very loud semi horn blast. Woo Hoo!

Although everyone began the day wondering how many women it took to pull a semi, the answer was soon apparent as the teams whittled down their numbers from 10 women to eight, to six, to five, to four, to three (above), to two (below is Sandi on the left and Tracy on the right) and eventually... to ONE LONE WOMAN, who had already pulled four other times and still managed to pull the truck 25 yards on her own before others jumped in and helped tug it the rest of the way. Now that's determination and strength! Congratulations, you tough tugger!

As the event was winding down, two female members of the Regina Police Service came by to show their support. Graham did not miss the opportunity to be photographed with these fine officers. After all, it's his truck, right? So, Graham... you can touch their shoulders but don't touch their guns! (They're sensitive about that.)

The officers did not disappoint. The first few tugs were tough, but once they got going, with the support of a loud cheering section, they accomplished their goal. And everyone appreciated their appearance at this First Annual Tug For Tatas.

And last but not least... below is my favourite sign from the event. As a mother, mother-in-law and aunt of many females... this is why we're all fighting to find a cure to this disease:

That pretty much says it all.
It was a great event. Thank you, Tracy and Sandi, for inviting Al and I along with Dionne and Graham. We had a blast and were pleased to share our book, our cheers and our support for this great cause.
October is breast cancer awareness month, everyone. Please do what you can to help spread the word.


  1. I pulled for my sister who has had cancer twice as well as for my mother who lost both breasts. I pulled knowing that one day it could be me.
    If one women can pull a 40,000 lb semi just emagin what all of us can accomplish!

  2. Tracy ThompsonSeptember 24, 2012

    I can't not describe the overwhelming feelings that tuggin that truck brought on! It was incrediable to have women swoop in to help us make the last 15 feet! I was so emotional, I cried! The strength of the community was felt over and over again! A huge thank you to Dionne and Graham and Deana and Al for helping to make the First Annual Tug for Tata's event a smashing success! We will see you all again in 2013! Get your teams ready!!! :)