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3rd Anniversary of 50th Birthday Party Remembers Good Friend and Supports Cancer Care


Presenting the proceeds from the 3rd anniversary of her 50th birthday to the Northern Cancer Fund are (l-r): Norina Karschti, Organizer, with Matthew (Michelle Marasco’s son), and friends, Christina Gillespie  and Wendy Day.

By Heather Vita - October 31, 2018

Turning 50 wasn’t something Norina Karschti really wanted to celebrate; not because of the number, but because her good friend, Michelle Marasco, had recently turned 50 and was battling a recurrence of cancer.

She wasn’t even going to have a party, but friends encouraged her to do so and so, she did, with one caveat – she wanted to raise funds in Michelle’s honour for the Northern Cancer Fund instead of receiving presents. That first party, back in 2015, raised $800 and has subsequently grown into an annual tradition. Sadly, Michelle passed away 20 days after the first party, but her memory has lived on through Norina’s parties in the past few years.

This year, on the 3rd anniversary of her 50th birthday, Norina hosted a party at her restaurant – Ling Lee’s – where she served appetizers and beverages and had a huge penny auction. “Tickets for the party sold out in 24 hours,” she said, “so I added another 40 and even those sold quickly!”

Of those in attendance, many knew Michelle quite well. “She would have loved this,” Norina remarked. “She was really into fundraising and it was extremely important to her.” Altogether the party raised $14,610 for the Northern Cancer Fund, bringing the four-year total for the event to over $25,000!

“I’m still amazed how much this has grown and how we’ve been able to give a significant amount to the Northern Cancer Fund,” commented Norina. “The support I’ve received from a committee of people in putting this together has been incredible and I’m happy that, despite losing my friend, we have this fantastic event where she can be remembered and where we can provide funds for exceptional cancer care here at home. We all loved her and we’re happy to continue this event in her memory.”

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