Curl for River Valley Cancer Support Group makes triumphant return

Curlers, the community, businesses, entertainers and local service organizations stepped to the forefront to make the return of Curl for River Valley Cancer Support Group a significant success Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, at the Florenceville Curling Club.

“I’m overjoyed to tell you our amazing curlers and community businesses, and the Bath Lions Club helped us raise $27,000,” River Valley Cancer Support Group secretary Tracey Watson Johnston told the River Valley Sun following the event.

On Saturday morning in the packed Florenceville Curling Club, Watson Johnston and group president Doug Graham said the turnout and support indicated a caring community.

They said 18 teams curled and raised money for the group focused on providing financial support for area families facing a cancer diagnosis.

As she stood in the hack, ready to throw a stone, Janice Ruff-O’Neill of Upper Kintore said she understands the importance of the River Valley Cancer Support Group’s efforts. She said she and her cousin Jerry Inman, a teammate on her Taking For Granite foursome, are both cancer survivors.

Rolanda Patterson, a member of the Rock Stars team, said she’s not an avid curler but comes out for the “fun and fundraising” of events like these.

The event, which ran through Friday evening and Saturday, featured plenty of action on and off the ice.

Local performers, including Jack McAffee on Friday night and Melissa White, Maggie White, Roger Drouin, Linda Drouin, Terry Davenport and Mark Reid, sang and played throughout the event.

The event included several other fundraising efforts, including tickets on a donated fire pit, 50-50 tickets and other draws. Graham said the Bath Lions Club served soup and sandwiches for the cost of a donation.

Florenceville-Bristol Mayor Andrew Harvey and Carleton-Victoria MLA and Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson attended the event to provide support and encouragement.

“This is a great event,” said Harvey, noting it represents what happens with the entire community pulling in one direction.

Johnson said it is always great to see the outstanding efforts of the event organizers meet the tremendous support of the area residents and business community.

“This is what it is all about,” she said. “The community always steps forward.”

The 2023 Curl for River Valley Cancer Support Group was the first since 2020, after being derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The community-based volunteer group provides financial support, information and encouragement to cancer patients between Upper Kent and down to the border of Nackawic who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The River Valley Cancer Support Group Inc., which collaborates with cancer patients, River Valley health personnel and N.B. hospitals, relies on donations. As a registered charity, donors can claim contributions on their income tax.

Find out more about the group and how to donate online at River Valley Cancer Support Group

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun