Pink in the City’s Raise Craze and gala raise $325,000 to support the MUHC’s Breast Clinic Wellness Program


Raise Craze 2023

On October 23rd, brave volunteers and supporters gathered in the atrium of the RI-MUHC for Pink in the City’s Raise Craze, the annual fundraising event that raises thousands of dollars for breast cancer research. This year’s event supported the MUHC’s Breast Clinic Wellness Program, created by surgical oncologist Dr. Sarkis Meterissian, who famously shed his own locks in solidarity with breast cancer patients two years ago, at the 6th annual Raise Craze.

Martine Nagy, a breast cancer survivor since 2016 who was treated at the MUHC, returned to shave her head for the third time! Our second courageous volunteer, 14-year-old Zoe Scappaticcio from the Sir Wilfrid Laurier school board, wants to prevent others from suffering through losing someone they love to cancer. Zoe’s stunning act of solidarity is not only inspiring, it shows that a simple gesture can make a real difference. Zoe is excited to keep the momentum going in 2024 by inspiring her peers to support this incredibly important initiative.


Pink in the City Gala

The Pink in the City gala took place on Friday, October 27th, at the glitzy Embassy Plaza in Laval. It was a night filled with laughter, many emotions, and most importantly, a collective sense of hope. The future of breast cancer care is guided both by cutting-edge health care experts like Dr. Meterissian, head of the MUHC Breast Clinic, and the resilience and hope that was present in the room that night. In fact, Dr. Meterissian stated that his own motivation comes from the resilience and strength of survivors.

There were many survivors and MUHC health care heroes in attendance that night, many accompanied by their family and friends, as well as our generous donors. While the event was an emotional one, the atmosphere in the room was one of celebration. Marie-Hélène Laramée, the MUHC Foundation’s President and CEO, gave an incredibly moving speech that called attention to the women in the room, and their unyielding commitment to advocating for each other and for future generations.

“I am incredibly proud to be surrounded by such incredibly inspiring women, who not only fight for their peers but for future generations,” she said.

The beautiful initiative began in 2006, when Pink in the City President Denise Vourtouzmis’s son, who was only 11 year old at the time, bravely shaved his head for breast cancer awareness. Since our partnership with Pink in the City in 2016, Raise Craze has raised over $1 million to advance breast cancer research and care at the MUHC.

This year alone, Raise Craze and the Pink in the City gala raised an incredible $325K for the Breast Clinic Wellness Program. At its core, Raise Craze illustrates the potential of people, and especially young people, to enact real change and bring about hope for a future that is cancer-free.


A plaque unveiling honouring Pink in the City

On Sunday, January 28th, a plaque honouring Pink in the City was unveiled in the MUHC Breast Clinic, alongside its director Dr. Sarkis Meterissian and MUHC Foundation President and CEO Marie-Hélène Laramée. Approximately 200 people attended the event, showcasing just how many of us are touched not only by breast cancer, but by the remarkable work accomplished by Denise Vourtzoumis and the Pink in the City community.

In attendance were multiple prominent members of the Greater Montreal community, such as the Honourable Senator Tony Loffreda, the Honourable Eleni Bakopanos, Laval City Councillor Vasilios Karidogiannis, and the Montreal City Councillor for the borough of Villeray, Mary Deros.

The occasion also welcomed several breast cancer survivors and thrivers who feel a personal connection to Pink in the City’s work, and who served as beacons of hope for a future where cancer doesn’t claim any more lives. Everyone in attendance felt that this was a significant moment for breast cancer care in Montreal, and they honoured the survivors and Denise with a standing ovation.

The MUHC Foundation is proud to collaborate with change-makers like Denise and Pink in the City, who underscore the power of community and enable the MUHC’s extraordinary doctors to do world-class work.

Montrealer Ferron Campbell wants you to join the fight against cancer