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Creative Tables raises funds to support fight against breast cancer

Many tables were decorated brilliantly according to different themes for the event.

ARCOLA - Darlene Olsen once again outdid herself with the Creative Tables fundraiser held on Oct. 13 at the Arcola Prairie Place Complex. 

Olsen is an ambassador for the Look Good, Feel Good program for breast cancer survivors, which holds workshops in Regina. 

Creative Tables is in its 13th year. Each table holds eight to 10 guests including the host. The tables may be purchased by a company or be sold individually by the table holder. 

Table decorations ranged from Christmas gnomes to witches and Tupperware, whatever the imagination could produce. 

Olsen was the MC for the event and kept the crowd entertained throughout the night with her witty sense of humour. 

An array of donations lined the wall for a silent auction, with well over 70 items to choose from. 

As the evening progressed and everyone was seated, Shannon Shakatko was asked to say grace. 

Steven and Alison Massel from Lampman prepared the meal of chicken and salads, while the host served her guests. 

Once supper was finished, it was time to hear from the guests of honour. 

Tammie Riddell and Sherry Zacharias are both breast cancer survivors. 

Zacharias is a retired schoolteacher and Riddell is a substitute teacher. Both are from the Carlyle area. 

They shared their journey of breast cancer, and how each story is different. They spoke about their treatment, and the support they received through family and friends and the Look Good, Feel Good program, and how the initiative helped them get through the tough times. They are now lifelong friends.  

Their full story is in a previous edition of the Observer.

Nancy Parker is also a cancer survivor. She had ovarian cancer and shared her story with the crowd. 

Parker is also a schoolteacher and very much missed her job during her illness, but her co-workers made sure to keep her in the loop during her journey. Friends took time off work to drive her to her treatments, or they cooked and delivered meals to her home. During her treatment, she became friends with women across Canada who have gone down the same path.  

Parker reminded people not to ignore their body and to know the changes, as it might be that change which is telling you something. At the time she said she did not get it, but she understands it now. 

She is grateful for the support she received through family and friends, as she said it is a long journey to come back from. 

Sunita Rebello from Mississauga, Ont., was also a guest speaker. Rebello is the executive assistant to Mary Kay Cosmetics Canada and spoke on the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation (MKACF). Mary Kay is also an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and has donated thousands of dollars to help woman in need. 

The MKACF is part of the Look Good, Feel Better program offering products that may be used by cancer-stricken women. All the products used at the LGFG are at no charge to the women. 

It gives women a chance to feel pretty again. They are shown how to apply the makeup, as often they have lost their eyebrows and eyelashes during treatment. They also can talk to women that have gone through the same thing as them. 

Another speaker was Susan Larkin, the vice-president for the Look Good, Feel Good programs marketing. She flew in from Toronto. 

She spoke about the LGFG program and how it has helped thousands of women across Canada at their 114 locations. 

Larkin said she could feel the sense of community, connection, and support in the room, and that this is exactly what their volunteers provide in the workshops. 

Larkin thanked Olsen for her continued support for the cause and also for everyone who came and supported Creative Tables. 

She hopes to return next year but wishes to be at the one of the tables in which people dressed up in crazy outfits. 

The Arcola Optimist Club was on hand working the bar and tending to the thirsty crowd. 

Olsen did not have a total from the event, but said it was an extremely successful evening. 


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