So… I’m back! After over
6 months a year two years on hiatus. Wheeee!
What have I been up to? I’ve never blogged about it specifically, but I’m so excited to share this with the world, or whoever reads this sad little blog. In March 2013, my first client project was the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Pink Tour. My work was mostly office-based for the first few months, but the tour officially kicked off in June. From June 12th until October 31st, 2013, I traveled with a small team of health educators across Ontario on a 50′ retrofitted pink bus… for a total of 17,000+ kilometres. What craziness!! But in the best way possible :)
The inaugural tour in 2012 was hugely successful, so the CBCF decided to organize it one more time in Ontario. The purpose of the tour was to educate women on how to be ‘breast aware’ through interactive learning tools on board the bus. We made stops at events/festivals, community centres, sponsors, workplaces with a large number of women, and much much more. As the program coordinator, my work involved around the logistics related to the tour and managing the girls on board.
The bus in action!
A few months into the planning stage, I was asked to join the traveling team! I was ecstatic because I took the role under the impression that I’d be working from our Mississauga office. Honestly, at that point in time I hadn’t done anything this meaningful since I had organized the Art of Life back in 2005.
Health promotion on top of the chance to explore our beautiful province? I was too, too excited. My team spent two days interviewing potential candidates, and we were so lucky to formally include Rennu, Sarpreet, and Leyla with us on the tour. Oh, and our amazing driver Eileen who, by the way, is the most adventurous of the group.
Left to right: Leyla, Sarpreet, Eileen, Rennu & me!
Our promo poster :) The tour wouldn’t have been possible without the support of CIBC & Shoppers Drug Mart
At all our stops, SDM pharmacists invited visitors to play a bean bag toss game to quiz them on their breast health knowledge!
CIBC also had a ‘Spin to Win’ game where visitors could take home a prize
Here are screenshots of what our tour schedule looks like Google mapped:
June stops: Toronto, Bowmanville, London, Windsor, Sarnia, Listowel, Owen Sound, Port Elgin, New Liskeard, Calabogie & Ottawa
July stops: Kanata, Merrickville, Brockville, Kingston, Cobourg, Peterborough, Lindsay, Bancroft, Tweed, Belleville, Windsor, Brampton, Mississauga, Scarborough, Oakville, Etobicoke, Guelph, Alliston, Collingwood, Midland, Penetanguishene, Moose Deer, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge
August stops: Huntsville, North Bay, Brechin, Barrie, Kitchener, Kitchener, Simcoe, Dunnville, Caledonia, St.Catharines, Grimsby, Elliot Lake, Blind River, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Emo, Kenora, Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Murillo, Terrace Bay, Marathon, Val Caron, Sudbury, Kincardine, Brampton
September stops: Mississauga, Pickering, Whitby, Ajax, Orono, Brampton, Hamilton, Waterdown, Markham, Pickering, North York, Newmarket, Newmarket, Perth County, Stratford, Ancaster, Brantford, Cambridge, Melbourne, Kettle Point, Wallaceburg, Bkejwanong Territory, Blenheim, Leamington, Milton
October stops: St. Thomas, London, St. Jacobs, London, Woodstock,Toronto, Oshawa, Stoney Creek, Richmond Hill & Keswick
Basically.. everywhere! I took literally thousands and thousands of photos throughout the tour, so let me show you a few more:
Once you enter the bus, we set up tablets with a facts & myths game re: breast health facts
The bus also had a video station where women can record themselves making a pledge towards their breast health.
For Ontario women over the age of 50, we encouraged them to sign up for the Ontario Breast Cancer Screening Program with a rep before they left the bus
Can’t forget the most exciting part – signing the bus! We had 23,000+ visitors by the end of the tour, which meant that the exterior was absolutely COVERED!
Outside the bus, we also had a table set up with a prize draw as well as additional information that visitors can take home.
Alright – I’m going to end this super heavy image post here.
Words can’t even describe what a memorable time we all had during the tour. Before it started, I couldn’t imagine traveling with a group of girls for months on end without issues. I literally could not fathom the idea of being with a group 24/7 without endless bickering. But nope, we got along amazingly well.. I can’t even remember a single time where one of us was upset with another. We were able to grow so much both as individuals and as a group throughout this journey. I’m so glad this is the team we ended up with!! These women are definitely people who I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life. They say you never forget the people you travel with. We not only traveled that summer but also did some great work in promoting women’s health.
Honestly, one of the best experiences of my life. 10/10 would do it again :D