Three Semiahmoo Peninsula women used the healing power of tea last Wednesday to raise $1,200 for breast cancer research with their first-ever Pink Ribbon Tea.
Vanessa Goad, Larae Ravenstein and Larae’s mother, Sheila Peterson, organized the event and held it at Sheila’s home in honour of their longtime friend’s mother, who died from breast cancer.
Alex Willis – a former Ocean Park resident now living in England – lost her mother, Joey Holt, last November from breast cancer. Prior to her death, Holt had come up with the idea to host a tea to raise funds for cancer research in conjunction with the CIBC Run for The Cure, which takes place every October.
“Because of her illness, she was unable to participate in physical activities like the run, so she created a new way to get involved,” Goad told Peace Arch News.
Unfortunately, Holt died before being able to host her own party, so family and friends took it upon themselves to host the teas and make them a tradition.
On Oct. 2, Holt’s husband, Gerald, held a tea in her honour, and the next day, Willis organized one in England.
“She would have liked to host the first tea, but that wasn’t meant to be,” Gerald said after the event. “But it’s wonderful, this idea of hers is being taken up by so many people.”
Gerald said he plans to make the tea an annual event to keep his wife’s idea alive. Since October, there have been Pink Ribbon Teas held in Langley, West Vancouver and even Canmore, Alta.
Ravenstein said that this is a tradition that the community has embraced and they plan on making their tea a tradition, as well.
“We are hoping to have one every year, we have received so much support and feedback,” she said.
Their event included raffle tickets for prizes donated by local businesses, pastries, food and, of course, tea.
People who want to host their own tea can register online www.pinkribbontea.com, which also provides recipes for traditional tea pastries.
All the money raised will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Holt’s former workplace, the Fairmount Hotel, will be hosting a Pink Ribbon Tea every day in October with partial proceeds going to breast cancer research.
In 2007, more than 2,800 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in B.C. according to the BC Cancer Agency.
According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, to increase chances of successful treatment women should regularly have breast screenings. Two common methods of breast screening are clinical breast examinations and a screening mammography.