Let’s Carry on into 2022!

A Message from Nancy McMillan 

 BRIGHT Run event chair 

It’s fair to say that, at this time last year, few of us thought we would still be dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But here we are – again – and, in my estimation, we have done well, both as individuals and as a community, navigating our changed and changing world. 

Instead of focusing only on what we haven’t been able to do, we have embraced what is possible. And in the process, we’ve learned a lot of new things. 

I find that as a new year begins, we too often tend to focus on the not-so-great things that happened in the old year. I prefer to focus on the positives, with a view to make each new year a better one. 

So, let’s look at some silver linings of the black COVID cloud hanging over us: 

  • Our second virtual BRIGHT Run was a great success, bringing the total dollars raised through virtual BRIGHT Runs to more than $725,000!  
  • We saw significant – and increased – engagement across many sectors of our BRIGHT Run community, from new community partners to new volunteers to new participants and new donors. I can’t wait until these folks can attend a LIVE event and experience the real BRIGHT Run energy, electricity and enthusiasm. 
  • We continue to expand our tool box and explore new ways to communicate within our BRIGHT team of volunteers and participants. Technology has become our new friend and we work very well together! 
  • On-line fundraising has taken off among BRIGHT teams. Silent auctions, 50/50 draws, Spin the Wheel elimination draws, trivia nights and so much more have been added to our tried-and-true plant/book/bake sale repertoire. 
  • While I certainly miss being together with our extended BRIGHT community in person, I have noticed that we have all refocused on what is really important – being with the people we are closest to, whether in person or via the ubiquitous Zoom meeting, and taking care of ourselves and each other. Really. 

For the BRIGHT community, we must mark 2021 as a stellar year of legacy accomplishment. The endowment of the BRIGHT Run Breast Cancer Learning Health System Research Chair, in partnership with McMaster University is a monumental accomplishment for all of us. 

The announcement of the inaugural chair holder, Dr. Ashirbani Saha, has added to that excitement. Dr. Saha hit the ground running last summer and is already collaborating with colleagues in a variety of disciplines on projects spanning a wide spectrum of breast cancer interests.  

And we’re so happy that all of you are getting acquainted with Dr. Saha and her work through her monthly letters, which appear in the BRIGHT Run eNewsletter! 

What about 2022? 

In case you haven’t noticed, this year marks BRIGHT’s 15th-anniversary! Not bad for a completely volunteer-driven local event! 

The BRIGHT executive team has been working hard to make this 15th-anniversary shine. We have unveiled the special anniversary logo and we are working with our good friend Monica Graves at glamjulz to come up with an anniversary charm for our captain’s bling bracelet. 

We are developing plans to recognize and celebrate the enduring efforts of our long-time teams, volunteers, participants and community partners, even as we welcome newcomers to our BRIGHT community. 

I believe 2022 will be our best and BRIGHTest year ever. As we’ve said from the start of this pandemic, breast cancer doesn’t stop for COVID. And neither does BRIGHT! 

Happy New Year to all and let’s carry on into 2022!