The Battle has ended but the benefits for Battle Charities have just begun. We had a chance to catch up with the charities benefiting from the top three pairs.
Battle 2nd runners up Marie-France Dubreuil & Mathieu Dandenault were awarded $30,000, shared between their respective charities Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation (MCCF).
Executive Director, Geneviève Paquette shared the sentiments at MCCF: “The entire Foundation team is quite impressed. Mathieu has always been committed to give back, especially when its about children… and is always available to help in any way he can.”
The funds will go to support ongiong measures to help improve the quality of life of children based on a strategy of preventive action. This is through financial support to charitable organizations whose projects meet with the same objectives.
The second place prize of $35,000 to first runners-up Violetta Afanasieva & Jason Strudwick’s charities.
Violetta’s portion went to the Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes (HSKL). Board President Mike Cavanagh is truly grateful: “Thank you to everyone who watched and voted for Violetta and Jason. Your support has gone a long way to better our shelter and help the animals in our care. Without everyone who watches, Battle of the Blades wouldn’t be able to support the HSKL and every other charity represented over the past 4 seasons. Over $1 million raised for charity... truly amazing.”
The money that Violetta and Jason raised for HSKL will be used directly on animal care and to enhance future fundraisers. Cavanagh reflected on the experience with fondess: “Every week was a lot of fun for everyone at the HSKL. Our staff and volunteers spent every day between shows encouraging everyone to watch Battle of the Blades and to vote for Violetta and Jason. We had a lot of fun with it, and our community really got behind us and the show. It really was an amazing couple of months. Violetta and Jason – we are so very happy with what you have done for the HSKL. You two were amazing, and we couldn’t be more proud of the contributions you have made towards our cause. We are so happy for the funds you have raised for us, and so happy that the ICCS was able to share in this moment with us.”
Jason’s share has done directly to Edmonton’s Inner City Children’s Program. The ICCP is a not for profit, charitable organization that supports children and families living in Edmonton’s Inner City Communities. Danielle Moffat, the ICCP Director of Programming looked forward to cheering on Violetta and Jason each and every week, “I know that I am very biased but I thought they were the best couple, they continually changed their routines and added a new level of creativity each week! They did such an amazing job and we are so proud of them and all of their efforts on our behalf. We love you!
Moffat appreciates how close-to-home Jason & Violetta put their support: “They are both so unselfish, each of them decided to represent two small charities that search hard for money to stay in operation and weren't nationally recognized and that in itself could have worked against them. I know that the two of them actually work hard in their home towns to help increase awareness for our charities and I am humbled and grateful that Jason and the Battle of the Blades afforded us the opportunity to do just that!”
The money raised will go towards supporting current programs and possibly help expand to another area of the community in Edmonton. Since the shows airing ICCP has been approached by many generous people including some business' that have made donations and asked how to support. “For that I am thankful!” said Moffat.
Season 4 Battle Winners Amanda Evora & Scott Thornton presented the grand $100,000 prize to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). Adding to that is Marie-France’s $15,000 for a total of $115,000!
"We were fortunate to have not only Scott and Amanda team up to support Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, but also have Marie-France Dubreuil skate on our behalf too,” explained Karen Malone, Vice President for Funds Development with CBCF Ontario, “It was incredibly exciting to share this opportunity with our staff, our partners and our supporters in every community across Canada…It was a great experience to feel and see the passion grow each week in our employees and volunteers as we saw Amanda and Scott do such hard work on behalf of CBCF."
Malone continued: “'Thank you' doesn’t seem like enough to say to Scott, Amanda and Marie-France after what they have done for us, and the difference they are making in all those touched by the disease. With 1 in 9 Canadian women still being diagnosed with breast cancer, the money they have worked so hard for will go a long way in making a difference in the lives of women living with a breast cancer diagnosis and their family and friends. By choosing to support the breast cancer cause and sharing their personal stories on a national platform, they brought awareness to our charity and the breast cancer cause, and we are very grateful."
(L-R) Pictured Left Scott Thornton and Amanda Evora and right Marie-France Dubreuil and Mathieu Dandenault present their respective cheques to Karen Malone of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
The funds raised will go towards innovative breast cancer research, health education and advocacy programs that aim to reduce the incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer and help support women and their families who have experienced the disease. “CBCF is the largest funder of breast cancer research in Canada and we address every aspect of the disease, from prevention through to quality of life and survivorship. explained Malone, “CBCF also funds a wide range of research training fellowships to further advance the knowledge and talent at Canada’s top research and treatment institutes.”
“[Thanks] to all those who voted each and every week and were active on social media, thank you! A very special thank you to Jennifer Nichol who spearheaded so much of the promotion for Scott and Amanda, not only in Scott’s hometown of Collingwood, but across the country creating awareness for the show, the skaters and the importance of how the dollars raised will support CBCF…We also thank the entire team at CBC and Battle of the Blades for putting on a great show! They have allowed us all to bring awareness and exposure to the breast cancer cause to millions across the country and provided amazing support to all the charities chosen by the skaters.”
The biggest thank you should certainly be extended to you, the devoted audience who tuned in each week, voted for your pair and made this show possible.