The Gathering of the Gormleys

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We heard about this and had to investigate.

Author: john loeppky – contributor

Much to our disappointment the event was nothing like this. / Kyle Leitch

Much to our disappointment the event was nothing like this. / Kyle Leitch

Throughout the year, those who have some form of brand name recognition lend their hand to various causes. At the beginning of last week, on Nov. 3 to be exact, an event was held in Saskatoon called the Gormley Gathering. The fundraiser, aided by the titular CKOM talk show host and former member of Parliament, was aimed at raising money for the Leslie and Irene Dubé Urology Centre of Health at St Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.

Having started in 2011, the cocktail-party-style affair has raised nearly $500,000, said Gormley. As for why the cause of prostate cancer was chosen, the talk show host has this to say, “One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.  With early detection through regular digital rectal examinations at the doctor’s office and responsibly managed prostate-specific antigen tests, we can detect and treat prostate cancer earlier, which improves survival rates.  The Dubé Centre, in conjunction with some great urologists in Saskatoon, is operated at St. Paul’s Hospital, through the Saskatoon health region, and is doing remarkable things at getting men treated quickly.  Our thinking was to directly contribute to a ‘hands on’ treatment and diagnostics approach that can get men the help they need.”

The thought surrounding how the event is run is simple, notes Gormley. Charge, what he calls, an expensive upfront price and then make no further attempts at asking for money. The idea, as he puts it, is “to get people who are supportive of prostate cancer fundraising together in an easy, casual and relaxed environment to network and hang out.”

Putting on such an event quite often has a hefty price tag attached to it, a barrier that has been circumvented due to several donations. Sponsors who often make large donations underwrite all of the costs of the event. Mr. Gormley lists a number of people and groups who, through their support, help make the event possible, “Potash Corp, which donates $25,000 and Gordon & Jill Rawlinson, the owners of Rawlco Radio, who often make a donation of over $20,000 plus, as they did this year. Other businesses and individuals, like Bob Stromberg, a prostate cancer survivor, make significant donations – Bob contributes $20,000 every year – and even some service clubs like the Progress Club, make an annual donation of $5,000.”

In addition to the proceeds, the effects of the event are personal in nature. Donations are sometimes made by those who are in the midst of the journey that accompanies experiencing cancer, a choice that Gormley calls “a remarkable display of generosity by great Saskatchewan people committed to the campaign against prostate cancer.” When asked about the event’s continual success, Gormley says simply that it is because of “amazing donors, friends, and sponsors.” In keeping with the giving nature of the people of Saskatchewan, and the sheer amount of money raised, it seems that this event will have a significant impact on cancer research in our province.

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