Toronto East Rotary Club's Skate-A-Thon To 'Ice" Cancer

Skate-a-thon to ‘Ice’ Cancer

For those of you who couldn’t make it, we’ve ‘frozen’ this momentous event in time for you! On September 14th, 2021, Joe Runza and Jim Anastasiadis completed their 4th annual “Skate-a-thon to ‘Ice’ Cancer”.

This event was started by Joe Runza in 2017, and to date has raised over $50,000 for the Oncology Department at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto. The money goes to help support the patients and the exceptional team in the Cancer Care ward. Due to pandemic restrictions this year, the group of spectators to cheer Joe & Jim on was smaller than usual; but to everyone’s delight, Joe & Jim did their laps in record time, getting 100 laps done in under the hour!

In attendance was Siobhan Flanagan-Dell of the Michael Garron Hospital, who spoke a bit about the impact that the support of this event from Toronto East Rotary Club (TERC) has in the lives of cancer patients.

This year's skate-a-thon raised $ 22,230 and the cheque was presented on October 28th to the Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) at our Club's social gathering in the Beaches, our very first in -person event since the start of the pandemic.

Pictured left to right are Jim Anastasiadis, Rachel Issac (Social worker, Oncology MGH), Joe Runza, Clare Olmstead (VP Major Gifts & Planned Giving MGH Foundation) Shaheynoor Talukder (our Club President) and Lindsay Martinek (Director Oncology Services MGH)

Joe Runza (Past President of TERC) and Jim Anastasiadis (Immediate Past President of TERC, and President and CEO of Magic White Inc) have really embodied the Rotary spirit of “Service Above Self” in their dedication to making this such a successful event. Especially this year with fewer fundraising opportunities and less fanfare due to pandemic restrictions, they truly made us all proud by blasting past the $50,000 mark and by helping to ‘Ice’ cancer.

Speaking about his ‘aha moment’ for the Skate-a-thon, Joe says he was volunteering to teach seniors how to skate around the time that he lost his brother Sam to cancer. At the same time, he was inspired by a good friend who was also going through chemotherapy. Joe knew he had to do something big to help provide better outcomes against this horrible disease. Rallying Jim A and the other members of the Toronto East Rotary Club, the “Skate-a-thon to ‘Ice’ Cancer” was born.

The support received from so many in the community has been truly humbling, and we would especially like to extend a special shout-out to Lexus on the Park as well as Roadsport Honda. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of them and so many other sponsors. We are grateful beyond words. And to Joe and Jim A – you truly do have fire in your hearts and ice in your veins… Don’t ever stop!