PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

From left to right: Victoria firefighters Jamie Lund, Colin Anderson, Steve Lester, Shaun Collard and Maple Ridge firefighter Lance Sherman pose before the second annual Gala for Hope at Carson Hall Saturday night. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria Fire Department Chief Paul Bruce speaks to the crowd at the second annual Gala for Hope Saturday evening at Carson Hall. Bruce said cancer has affected every member of the department in one way or another. Thousand were raised for the BC Cancer Foundation by the end of the night. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Firefighter Jeff Cullen stands in front of the 2019 Victoria Fire Department’s Ride to Conquer Cancer team – of which he is also a member. The team will cycle more than 200 kilometres across the Lower Mainland to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Fire gear on display in Carson Hall Saturday night was left out to honour the three members of the Victoria Fire Department who have lost their lives to cancer in just the last few years. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Fire gear on display in Carson Hall Saturday night was left out to honour the three members of the Victoria Fire Department who have lost their lives to cancer in just the last few years. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Thousands of dollars were raised for the BC Cancer Foundation at the second annual Gala for Hope event Saturday night. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Firefighter Jeff Cullen stands in front of the 2019 Victoria Fire Department’s Ride to Conquer Cancer team – of which he is also a member. The team will cycle more than 200 kilometres across the Lower Mainland to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Signed hockey jerseys were auctioned off at the second annual Gala for Hope Saturday night, along with dinners prepared by firefighters and a couple hours of yard work from a local fire department. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria fire fighter Jordan Elvedahl, Nicole Shisko, Sue Elvedahl and fire fighter Brian Elvedahl pose at the second annual Gala for Hope Saturday night. The event raised thousands for the BC Cancer Foundation through the Ride to Conquer Cancer. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

It was hard to find a dry eye in Carson Hall during the Victoria Fire Department’s second annual Gala for Hope Saturday night.

Faced with roaring apartment fires, piles of smoldering rubble and unpredictable physical threats at every scene – there’s one looming danger to fire crews that’s completely invisible and has taken three from the department’s in just three years.

The fight against cancer is a cause close to the hearts of local firefighters and the community after the losses of former chiefs Richard Couch and Doug Angrove as well as firefighter Stan Thame.

Firefighters have a nine per cent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer than the general population – and a 14 per cent higher risk of dying from the disease. On Saturday night the gala raised thousands of dollars for the BC Cancer Foundation – some of which will help Vancouver Island hospitals purchase PET scans – ‘positron emission tomography’ imaging that helps doctors more accurately and quickly diagnose cancer.

RELATED: Victoria Fire Department battles cancer with Gala for Hope

RELATED: Victoria Fire Department honours three former chiefs with Ride to Conquer Cancer

The evening featured moving speeches from Mena Westhaver, who’s son survived cancer, and Vancouver Fire Captain Steve Letourneau, who is still battling cancer after a terminal diagnosis in 2014.

The Gala for Hope is the department’s main fundraiser for the Ride to Conquer Cancer, supporting the fundraising efforts of the Victoria firefighter team cycling more than 200 kilometres across the Lower Mainland and ending in none other than Hope, B.C.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read