Canadian Curling Legend Kerry Burtnyk to Speak at Luncheon

January 20, 2009 - Canadian Football League (CFL) - Winnipeg Blue Bombers News Release

WINNIPEG, MB - Two-time Canadian curling champion and former world curling champion Kerry Burtnyk will be speaking at the Never Alone luncheon at Canad Inns Polo Park on April 8, 2009.

Burtnyk, who survived a battle with a rare form of scalp cancer, will be on hand to tell his courageous story of two separate bouts, the last being nearly seven and a half years ago.

"It is an honour to be the guest speaker at this year's Never Alone Luncheon. It's a great opportunity to continue the fight against cancer," said Burtnyk.

"Organizations like the Never Alone Foundation are crucial in the continuing battle against cancer. It's very important for people fighting this disease to understand that they aren't the only ones."

A Manitoba resident, Burtnyk won the 1981 Brier as the youngest skip in history. He won his second in 1995, following that up with a world championship the same year. Most recently, Burtnyk represented Manitoba at the Tim Horton's Brier last year in Winnipeg. His passion to overcome the cancer and compete in curling on a national stage once again is truly inspiring.

"In 2008 I was able to reach the national stage and play in the Tim Horton's Brier 10 years after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (Dermato Fibrosarcoma Protuberans). This proves that anyone diagnosed with cancer should never give up," said Burtnyk.

The founder of the Never Alone Foundation, Lyle Bauer, is excited to have Burtnyk speak at this year's luncheon.

"It is spectacular to have a world champion speaking this year at the luncheon," said Bauer.

"Kerry brings a perspective which I am sure everyone will enjoy."

The luncheon will also feature the announcement of winners of the Community Difference Maker Award, the Corporate Difference Maker Award, and the Individual Difference Maker Award. Also, someone will be awarded the Todd Davison Memorial Scholarship, which is given to a high school student who has overcome personal challenges and demonstrates a hard-working, diligent approach to athletics and displays strong leadership and is respected by his or her peers.

All proceeds from the luncheon will go towards cancer research and education in the province of Manitoba.

The Never Alone Foundation was launched in February of 2005 during the CFL Coach of the Year Award luncheon in Winnipeg.

Bauer was inspired to assist cancer sufferers and their families as a result of his own experience with the disease after being diagnosed with throat cancer in late-2004.

The foundation spearheads several fund-raising initiatives for CancerCare Manitoba including the Never Alone Luncheon and the Never Alone Social.

Tickets for the Never Alone Luncheon on April 8, 2009 are $85 each while corporate tables are available for $850. Tickets can be ordered by calling (204) 784-2583, ext. 588 or by e-mailing a request to

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