Paint the Town Red: From Fitness to Food… and All for a Good Cause

Bust a Move

The Ottawa Athletic Club was a sea of pink on Saturday, March 1. The unusually busy fitness centre was the venue for the Bust a Move for Breast Health fundraiser – a day-long extravaganza empowering men and women to fight for breast health. My mother and I showed up to take this challenge: to sweat, stretch and lunch with fellow supporters.

The morning began with Kurt Stoodley from CTV Morning Live receiving a very special award for his tireless efforts to promote breast cancer awareness. It’s a cause that is close to Kurt’s heart, as his mother is a 10-year breast cancer survivor. Bernice Rachkowsky, chair of Bust a Move, presented this award, and spoke about what was to come, letting everyone know how amazing they were for being a part of this fitness phenomenon. One hundred per cent of the proceeds benefit The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Fitness chair Tracy Cipryk started us off with The Great Canadian Kitchen Party. We were stepping, dancing and twisting to some Canadian beats… getting our hearts pumping through the first class of the day.

The highlight of my time at Bust a Move would have to be my chat with Tommy Europe – former CFL player, owner of and star of the Slice reality TV shows The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp and Bulging Brides. As a self-proclaimed “no suit kind of guy,” transitioning from the CFL to personal training was as natural as can be for Tommy. He had in store for the participants later that day his SHRED boot camp. Making the trip from Toronto to Ottawa,  Tommy shared with the pink army a cardio workout modified for all fitness levels, based on his 2012 online fitness video program SHRED BOOTCAMP: 4 WEEKS TO THE NEW YOU.

For those of you interested in participating and helping to raise even more than the $301,250.25 collected this year, there are a few luxuries including water from Culligan, a massage station from Glebe Chiropractic, and many treats to keep everyone energized.

Check out Bust a Move at

Also, visit for an online fitness community with videos, social networking, E-books, meal plans and fitness programs.

After my time was up at this amazing event, I was required to transition from exercising to eating (no qualms here) for the rest of the afternoon.

9th Annual Carefor Chocolate Competition

The 9th Annual Carefor Chocolate Competition is a fundraiser for Carefor Health & Community Services, which provides an extensive range of home health care and community support. My boyfriend Jeff and I arrived at the Centurion Conference Centre on March 2 to join 400 attendees and a panel of five celebrity judges who voted for the best chocolate dessert in Ottawa/Gatineau. After being treated to a delectable brunch, we made our way to the lengthy lineup, where everyone waited patiently for their turn to analyze the various table presentations. It was our duty to record our scores for originality and taste on our People’s Choice Scorecard, so our utmost concentration was very important.

Along with live music and exciting silent and live auctions – with items donated by local businesses, we finished scoring each submission and left our voting cards in the private submission area. When it was time to announce the winner, we learned that Essence Catering took home the Judges Award, while Top of the Hill Bakery won the People’s Choice Award. Afterwards, we were left with full stomachs and take-home containers to ensure that everyone got the most from this chocolate competition.