The CIBC Run for the Cure, Canada’s largest single-day, volunteer-led event in support of the breast cancer cause, is happening virtually this year on October 3rd. Participants can sign up for teams and set goals for both walking/running distances and donations. This year, along with the West Ottawa Ringette Association (WORA), Melanie Mathers-Cote has put a team together in honour of Stephanie (Steph) Nugent: Sweat for Steph.
Sadly, Steph passed away on November 11, 2020, after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. Steph was a loving wife to John and an incredible mother to Carmen. In addition to teaching at Roland Michener Public School for many years, Steph was very active in WORA as a coach, assistant coach, and volunteer.
When Melanie volunteered as team manager for her oldest daughter’s ringette team, she was able to get to know Steph, the head coach who inspired her players. “In a predominantly girls sport that still seems to lack female coaches and role models – she was an excellent role model often bringing much needed balance and positivity to the bench and to the ice. She dedicated a lot of time to the teams and players that she coached – but was always very unassuming, modest and I think she also underestimated the impact she had on the players. She also didn’t do it for the recognition.” Melanie describes Steph as a positive and caring woman who “was a huge influence in my daughter’s life, as well as many WORA girls.”
Melanie’s goal in organizing the Sweat for Steph team for the CIBC Run for the Cure is to mark Steph’s passing and celebrate her life, which was made difficult due to the pandemic. “In a non-pandemic year, there would have been more done to remember Steph and support her family,” says Melanie. She chose the event since Steph participated in Run for the Cure in the past and it is a cause that was important to her. “As word gets out, it would be nice to surpass our goal,” Melanie says. Sweat for Steph’s current fundraising goal is $2,500. In addition to hoping for more donations, Melanie invites anybody from either the local ringette or Stittsville community to join the team, anybody who is interested is welcome.
As we get closer to October 3rd – and based on public restrictions – Melanie is hoping to set up a meeting spot and route for family, friends, and players to come together and remember Steph. “It is my hope that as a community we can raise an impressive amount of funds, and honour her in a way that I think she would appreciate.” To support Sweat for Steph, visit the team’s page, where you can donate or join the team.
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