Along with the fall season comes the Boobyball, one of CHEEKMagazine.com’s favourite charitable events. The annual bash is put on by The Society to benefit Toronto-based organization rethink breast cancer, and will be painting the town pink on October 2, 2009. Inspired, affordable and borderline outrageous is the name of this game, and tickets are a hot item; get them now at boobyball.com. This is a party for a cause, so mark your calendars.
Boobyball began in 2002 as a spirited event by Amanda Blakley and Ashleigh Dempster, the socially conscious founders of The Society, to lift the spirits of a close friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 23.
“Basically we started the event and every year since it’s become a celebration of Sarah’s life. Every year the event has sold out at 800 to 1000 people depending on the venue capacity. It’s always been the antithesis of a typical gala fundraising event,” describes Blakley of the soiree. In the seven years since its inception, Boobyball has become one of the most notable charitable fundraisers on the Toronto event circuit, with an impressive goal of $130,000 this year.
In regard to the event’s outstanding success, Blakley told us, “It’s almost like a kid in a candy store when you walk into the Boobyball, and we hear that year after year. It’s not just a party where you’re drinking, socializing and dancing; there are all these really cool themed activities that have a fundraising component to them, that get people involved and busy all night. I think that’s why we’re so successful in having a full crowd there.”
While keeping the fine details a secret of the Boobyball, Dempster divulged that guests of the 2009 Boobyball can look forward to a cruise-themed event.
“There will be everything from shuffle boards to Mai Tais with umbrellas, and a gift shop where you can purchase some really cool limited edition Timex watches. We’ll also have a really great themed photo booth”. If that’s not enough to convince you to slip on your favourite cocktail dress and make a B-line to the Boobyball, we don’t know what is.
The event’s benefactor, rethink breast cancer, is an organization that has become well known for the seemingly endless amount of creative energy coming from its philanthropic team. MJ Decoteau started rethink breast cancer in 2001, and describes the organization as having the goal to “reenergize the breast cancer movement in order to reach more young people.”
As a young woman, Decoteau describes herself as eager to gain information about the risks she faced as a young woman with a family history of breast cancer, but was met with pamphlets and preventative material that spilled over with statistics and pictures of older women. “Every pamphlet I picked up had a 65-year-old on the cover and was an ugly folded accordion pamphlet with either a lot of text or very medical looking pictures of an older lady doing a breast exam, and here I was, a young person actually looking for information, but what I found didn’t appeal to me.” Decoteau’s passion and innovation has led her team to bring a message of education and empowerment to the public, while keeping their events, workshops, and many other endeavors relevant and fun.
“Young people are hard to reach. Their minds are on other things than getting a life threatening illness, [so] we use the arts community, the fashion community, the music industry, to shed light on our issues in a positive way that’s not going to scare young people, and not going to put them off, but that’s actually going to empower them.”
This year, rethink is launching the Booby Innovation Grant. “[It is] a grant we’re giving out to women who have had breast cancer, who have an idea for a support program or an initiative that’s going to help other young women with breast cancer,” saysDecoteau. Find out more about the grant at rethinkbreastcancer.com.
So, dear readers, we urge you to get your tickets now to one of Toronto’s hottest fall events. Boobyball 8 promises to be glitzy, classy and exciting – and all for an excellent cause. Now there’s a Friday night well spent.