What I’ve Been Up To: Lawn Summer Nights Hfx

July 18, 2014

It’s a soggy summer night out there Halifax.

“A unique lawn bowling fundraiser benefitting Cystic Fibrosis Canada”

When I got word that what would’ve been our third Thursday night gathering tonight would be cancelled, and the four-week event extended into five to let us bowl on July 31st instead, I thought I’d take my (now free) night at home to take a breather and tell you about this awesome event I’ve been tied up in photographing for the last few weeks.

Lawn Summer Nights is this super well-thought-out fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, which works by getting a bunch of teams together who have to raise funds in order to put themselves through this fiercely competitive (if your definition of fierce is Beyonce-like greatness) lawn bowling tournament. The event has got this really well developed aesthetic where all the teams and organizers dress up like they’re on their way to Jay Gatsby’s, or the pony races with the queen. It’s all 30s housewives, boas and jewelled headbands here. While you’re throwing stones on the green, there’s funky remixed jazz and prohibition-era tunes playing and fancy gin-based drinks being served. Plus, you have a hip photographer mashing around taking photos of you and all your dolled-up friends while rubbing elbows with other well-dressed and good-looking people who are also into being awesome and helping out a good cause. What’s not to like?

Every night before the bowling begins, there’s a speaker who is someone who has CF. It brings some real gravitas to the situation, and brings it home how important it is to fundraise to help new medicines and therapies make their way through the expensive and time-consuming processes required for treatments in Canada in order to be approved for widespread (and affordable) distribution.

There has also been some really shining examples of generational interplay between the older lawn bowlers who have been teaching the younger teams how to play.

This is also the first year that LSN has been continental across Canada. From Victoria to Halifax. To celebrate this awesome coming-together of Canada for this event, Lawn Summer Nights has set an incredible total of ONE MILLION DOLLARS as their fundraising goal for this year. #lawnmillion on Instagram and Twitter. If you see that floating around, now you know why.

#lawnsummernightshfx #lawnmillion and #lawnsummer are all good ones.

#lawnsummernightshfx #lawnmillion and #lawnsummer are all good ones.

It’s also remarkable that this fundraiser was inspired by a blogger. Eva Markvoort, author of 65 Red Roses (a common malapropism among children for ‘cystic fibrosis’), an award-winning documentary, and a hugely popular blog about her life and times living with cystic fibrosis. Her amazing courage in undergoing a double-lung transplant, and eventually her tragic death due to  transplant rejection touched so many people. Her life is all amazingly documented through her blog, up until a few days before her death.  She was a vivacious and passionate spokeswoman for CF, and before passing on Eva talked strongly about creating a legacy. She was even able to take part in the inaugural Lawn Summer Nights event in 2010. Since then, the event has only grown bigger and stronger each year. Their website says, Eva was a truly magical person, and her legacy is only the beginning. Inspired by her life, her struggle and her story, we’re carrying on from where Eva left off; endeavouring to accomplish what she cared for the most – enjoying life, and finding a cure for CF.”

All the teams and organizers involved in the Halifax event seem to be going a pretty good job of fundraising for this event. Each team has to raise a minimum of $400 to even be allowed to enter the tournament. I can’t wait for the final week, to see all the hard work, fundraising barbecues, and hashtag-sharing come together, to see how much we’ve raised to help this cause.  I also can’t wait to party at the Stubborn Goat afterward. They’ve been providing all the food for this event, and so far it has been amazingly spot-on delicious. 

Way to go, everyone. Way to go, life.

If you’d like to make a donation to help Halifax reach its goals, please follow this link.

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