Each spring since 2007, the Green and Gold community comes together for The Edmonton Elks Women’s Dinner, presented by James H. Brown & Associates, Injury Lawyers.
Gathering in memory of Pam Monastyrskyj, they’ve always known they were making a difference in the fight against ovarian cancer, and after 15 years, the impact is greater than ever.
To date, the annual event has raised over $600,000 for the Edmonton Elks Women’s Ovarian Cancer Research Endowment Fund, supporting local researchers in their ongoing work to develop an early detection system and new treatment protocols for ovarian cancer.
The dinner was created in tribute to Pam, a beloved member of the EE family who worked for 21 years in the team’s front office. Pam was just 45 when she lost her four-year battle with ovarian cancer in 2005.
Funds from the inaugural dinner were used to dedicate a room at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women in Pam’s honour and to support the delivery of compassionate patient care to those undergoing treatment.
Each dinner, the Pam’s Hero award highlights an individual who brings positivity in the struggle against ovarian & women‘s cancer. The 2022 recipient is Deb Key, who passed away from cancer at age 64 last June.
Key worked for eight years at the Women & Children’s Health Research Institute, a University of Alberta-affiliated research institute that is the only one in Canada to focus on both women’s and children’s health, including perinatal health.
As administrative assistant to WCHRI executive director Sandra Davidge, Key regularly collaborated with the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation.
“She was very bright, very warm and welcoming,” widower Frank Key recalls fondly. “Everybody that met her instantly felt they had a friend; she was that kind of person. She always took time for everyone. She was fun to be around, really lots of fun.”
Ovarian Cancer Canada estimates 3,100 Canadian women will be newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, joining thousands of women in Canada that are living with the disease. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer for women and is the most serious women’s cancer.
Advancements in the battle against ovarian canner are being made all the time, including in Edmonton, where the innovative work of Dr. Cheng-Hang Lee and his team is funded by the Edmonton Elks Women’s Ovarian Cancer Research Endowment Fund. Dr. Lee, who holds the Sawin-Baldwin Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, is involved in early detection, research, and treatment of ovarian cancers at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
“This dinner in Pam’s memory is instrumental for us to be able to connect with donors, and all the families who have been touched by the disease. It’s a bi-directional interaction in that I’ll get tremendous motivation from speaking to everyone who has been personally touched by ovarian cancer,” Dr. Lee says.
“This allows us the chance to share some exciting developments and inform them that progress is ongoing and we’re inching closer to better preventions and better treatments for women with ovarian cancer, who otherwise would have very limited options in terms of treatments.”
Tickets for the Edmonton Elks Women’s Dinner are available now through Ticketmaster, and can be purchased online or by calling 780-508-8504.