Marie-Claire Ivanski has been planning this event for the past three years, trying to find a cause of cancer instead of a cure. According to her, the event was sold out weeks before the event. From the left, Cecile Dumouchel, Diane Hayes, president of the board of Breast Cancer Action, Russell Mayor Pierre Leroux, Ivanski, Nicole Gosselin-Seguin and Jennifer Geiger. Absent from photo, Lorraine Beaudin.     Glover photo

Kory Glover
Villager Staff
EMBRUN – For decades, people have been trying to find a cure for the terrible plague of cancer, but Marie-Claire Ivanski wants to go in a different direction – finding a cause.

For the past three years, Ivanski has thought about an idea to encourage healthier lifestyles in the municipality of Russell with an annual event, Wellness Day. She was finally able to share it with the community Sat., Oct. 20 and raised roughly $5,000 for breast cancer research.

“We’ve been sold out of tickets for the past couple of weeks and we were able to gather 53 local businesses and vendors to help demonstrate a healthier way of living through different means,” said Ivanski, president of Friends for Life. “The entry fee is $10 and there is also a healthy lunch that will be served, that is not part of the entry fee, and all proceeds go to both Friends for Life and Breast Cancer Action. The funds raised will be split 50/50 between us.”

Diane Hayes, president of the board of directors for Breast Cancer Action, added, “This might have been a team effort between me and Marie, but she was the brains behind the whole operation. She was the head of the whole thing.”

The event had a massive variety of healthy lifestyle options for residents including healthy eating, skin care, and body care.

Benoit Surprenant of Le panier d’Osiris sells over 1200 organic, natural products for a healthier diet.

“We remove all the chemicals from our food to promote a healthier lifestyle for our customers,” he said. “We sell all organic products like fruits, vegetables, dairy products and vegan products.”

Chiropractor Dr. Michael Koschade and chiropractic assistant Lynne O’Heare set up a booth to promote chiropractic care, to be more active and lower stress levels.

“When we don’t move, we rust,” said O’Heare. “So, if you sustain some issue between your vertebrae, a chiropractor can alleviate all the stress in between your spine and that could make you more mobile.”

Suzanne Piche, owner of Olde Towne Esthetics, uses nothing but natural ingredients when making her line of skin care products.

“I offer an organic skin care line that’s all fruit, plant and herb-derived and it’s in its purest form, so the skin care line is very active,” she said. “There’s no preservatives, no parabens, no harsh chemicals in the products, so what you’re putting on your skin is kind of like a smoothie for your skin.”

Ivanski was absolutely pleased with the turnout the event received and will bring Wellness Day back next year as well.

“The amount of support given just warms my heart,” she said. “We are the third best municipality in Canada to live, so now let’s make it [one of the healthiest] municipalities.”