My cousin, Lisa, is my hero. She proficiently manages one of the busiest liquor stores in Alberta, drives from Sundance to Cochrane to work her lady-balls off, often works overtime and is frequently short-handed. She is a married mother to an incredible little boy, taking a hands-on parenting approach. No TV, no sugary snacks, no daycare or nanny. He is only three years old but is already able to read words from his storybooks, speak eloquently, and can complete jigsaw puzzles in record timing ---THREE years old! (I worry he’ll be “too” smart by the time school kicks in…he is obviously a product of very dedicated parenting!)
In her spare time (she will laugh at this: “Spare time?! What’s that?”), Lisa donates all of her freedom to her friends, family, and fundraising. This woman is a machine! Her team has won awards for being the top fundraisers in their nation-wide company for several charitable foundations (e.g. Easter Seals, Prostate Cancer Canada, etc.). The recent beneficiary of her efforts has been the Breast Cancer Foundation—a disease that has struck close to home for our immediate family.
Our Grandma and my Aunt (Lisa’s Mom) had both battled breast cancer and won. Four years ago, we had zero family history of the disease. Today, we’re labelled “at risk”, and may likely have to battle the same demons ourselves someday. This fundraiser could help buffer that blow down the road…and even lead to a cure.
Lisa’s (short-handed) store was given a seemingly unrealistic fundraising target of $7500, a FAR larger number than any other branch despite having a smaller customer reach. She was supposed to raise this money within five weeks. At first, it seemed Lisa was being punished for something…but I’m certain it was only top management’s “raising the bar” and knowing that if anyone was capable of raising a mountain of cash it would be Lisa! So instead of banging her head against the wall, she went straight to work: using her creativity to make and sell wine jackets at the store, collecting raffle and silent auction items (I donated this painting towards the cause), bake sales, 50/50 tickets, and booking a venue for the dramatic grand finale: Shaving off her full head of beautiful red hair!!! (Some little girl is going to feel very special when she gets that wig.)
In total, Lisa and her team raised $9600 at the head shaving event alone. Together with customer donations, wine jacket sales, and other raffles at the store, they raised an incredible$16,662 for the Breast Cancer Foundation (and donated a whole lotta hair!!!). She took that original goal of $7500, set it on fire, stomped on the ashes and roared on top of its grave! She will not accept defeat, and always pushes herself to be better and to be the best. She is fearless, determined, and incredibly brave. I’m so proud of her. My cousin, my friend… MY HERO, Lisa!
(Special thanks to @ShaneBerezowski for the photos)