Read for the Cure: Literature lovers raising funds

By Andrea Cranfield – 

Read for the Cure (RFTC) is a rare opportunity for book lovers to hobnob with some of Canada’s top authors. It also happens to be a major fundraiser for cancer research. This year’s event is taking place on October 6.

“The event itself is a really enjoyable event but you feel like you are able to make a contribution as well,” said Beth Allan, co-chair for RFTC Ottawa.

Judith Nolte, also a co-chair, noted, “We call it a big fun festive book club. Often books clubs come to the event themselves.”

Beth Allan and Judith Nolte, co-chairs of Read for the Cure Ottawa. Photo by Andrea Cranfield

Allan and Nolte, both Kitchissippi residents, have been volunteering for the event since its inception in Ottawa in 2008. They founded the Ottawa committee and, along with four other volunteers, organize the RFTC event every year.

Allan said it’s important for her to volunteer. “Everyone has the experience of a close family member or friend who has had cancer, or has died of cancer so I think it’s something that touches everyone,” says Allan.

Funds from RFTC are donated to the Cancer Research Society, an organization that studies environmental links to cancer.

In the past six years, the Ottawa RFTC has donated more than $120,000 to the Cancer Research Society. Other RFTC events across Canada have raised more than $850,000 towards cancer research.

“The big news this year is we’re going to hit $1 million from the beginning to now across all cities for our donation to cancer research. It is amazing,” says Allan.

RFTC is made possible because it is run by volunteers and 100 per cent of ticket sales can be donated to cancer research. The event would also not be possible without the sponsors.

Adrian Harewood, anchor of CBC News in Ottawa is hosting this year’s event, which will be taking place at the Marriott Hotel.

Sean Michaels, the author of Us Conductors, Linden MacIntyre, author of the gripping Punishment, and Anne Walmsley, author of the intriguing The Prison Book Club, will join him to speak about various topics and answer questions from the audiences.

Unlike many literary events, the authors will not be reading from their books.

“The authors talk about their writing style, how they write, what inspires them, and there’s a lot of camaraderie among the authors,” says Nolte.

Allan adds, “I think it’s what makes it a bit different. You never quite know what themes will evolve.”

Guests will also enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and the services of a cash bar. Every attendee will also receive three books, one written by each of the authors. There is a book signing at the end of the evening.

Tickets are $90 and are available online at or by calling Ticketweb at 1-888-222-6608.


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