Many of you have heard me speak fondly of my days spent bowling with my grandmother, Doris Luke:
She was my dad’s mom, and I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her growing up. She had a passion for: sports, especially softball (she was a catcher in the Toronto Beaches Ladies Church League), The Toronto Blue Jays, Wayne Gretzky and bowling (she was inducted into the Canadian 5-Pin Bowling Hall of Fame as a result of her bowling prowess). But more important than her love of softball and bowling was her passion for sharing sports with children. My dad has told me numerous stories about her encouraging him, his brother and his two sisters in their athletics. She was an incredibly supportive and patient person who despite how busy she was with her own sports, always found the time to give back to others, I remember spending hours bowling at New Shamrock Bowl with my grandma, not knowing then that she was one of the founders of the first youth bowling program. When we visited her, she also wanted to know all about my sports, and listened keenly to my softball stories – I was a catcher like my grandma too.
Doris Luke should be recognized as one of the first coaches in our sport. From her background days in softball, Doris developed a bowling style that allowed her average to reach as high as 256. In the mid-1950’s, bowling was beginning to organize and, on the adult side, Doris was an executive member of the Ontario Bowlers Council when this group formed in 1956. Moreover, she recognized that the future of any sport is in the development of the youth and Doris started one of the first youth programs at Beach Bowl, and this effort was truly original as the first youth program, the Canadian Junior Bowling Council, did not begin until 1958. Ten years later, when Doris had settled at New Shamrock Bowl on Coxwell Avenue in Toronto, she started a Young Adult League and this was a forerunner of the successful Young Adult Bowlers Association that continues to this day. Cont…
Grandma would welcome anyone to bowl, and would help foster the confidence in youngsters by giving them a skill that they could be proud of. She was active in the bowling community until she retired at the age of 85, but unfortunately, grandma passed away a few years later due to breast cancer. I miss her terribly.
If you’ve read this far, I want you to know that my grandma’s story is not unique. 1 in 7 incredible Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast or gynaecologic cancer in their lifetime. This year in Canada, it is estimated that approximately 31,000 women will be diagnosed with breast or gynecological cancer, and over 8,000 will die from the disease. All of these women are strong, vibrant and precious to their families, friends and their communities.
This is why I’m inviting you to join the 2013 Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers benefiting The Campbell Family Institute at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre on the weekend of September 7th, 2013.
You can do either the 2-day, 60 km option or the 1-day, 30 km option.
2013 marks the 11th annual Weekend in Toronto. Over the last 10 years, The Weekend has raised more than $133 million, funding innovative research, treatment, and care for women’s cancers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Unfortunately my grandma is no longer here with us, but if she was she would enjoy the opportunity to camp on centre field at Rogers Centre, Home of the Toronto Blue Jays (her favourite baseball team) which is one of the many benefits of participating in The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Other benefits are that as a walker you will be supported by hundreds of volunteers and crew members, providing meals, water and snack stops, portable restrooms, safety on the course, comprehensive medical services and an overnight campsite complete with tents, hot showers and entertainment.
The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers funds Personalized Cancer Medicine, including research, treatment advances and survivorship programs for all women’s cancers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Make this Weekend matter. Register to walk
For more information call (416) 815-WALK (9255) or visit endcancer.ca.
Disclaimer: I was compensated to write this post as a SheBlogs Media Publisher. All stories about my grandma are completely true, as well I strongly support The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers and I even registered to do the walk several years ago – I had a great time and raised $1,500 for cancer research.