For her dad

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

Dads and daughters share a special bond and, although her pop is no longer around, Cheryl Bernard won't break it.

The third annual Dril-Away Directional Services Curl for a Cure charity bonspiel -- one of several projects in which Bernard has her hand -- is set for this weekend at the Calgary Winter Club.

Bernard, who lost her father Bernie to brain cancer in September 2003, still feels the pain of her loss.

"He was a curler," she said, choking back tears.

"All my life, I played the game with him. He loved it so much."

But the two-night event isn't about the sorrow with which the families are left. It's about enjoying the game and it's about hope.

That's why Bernard chose the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's Alberta/Northwest Territories chapter as the event's beneficiary.

"Cancer is cancer, whether it's brain, lung or breast," said the honorary chairwoman.

"I knew Leanne Pipchuk and the foundation and I knew the good work they did. I knew we could work together."

The event brings into town such curling stars as Guy Hemmings, Marilyn Bodogh and Michelle Englot.

They're joined by John Morris of Calgary and his second Marc Kennedy, plus Amy Nixon and Glenys Bakker, third and second for the Shannon Kleibrink foursome, which recently won the women's Canada Cup in Kamloops, B.C.

Teams have pledged a minimum of $2,000 to get into the event and the top fundraising rinks have their choice of pros to captain their teams.

Andre Arlain, Scott Coe, Jeff Pilon and Mike Juhasz comprise a Stampeders team, while Jamie Macoun leads a squad of NHL alumni.

But the team that impresses Bernard the most is a roster of breast-cancer survivors.

"They always get me choked up," she said.

"My dad didn't make it but they did. They're always the top fundraisers and they always have more fun than any team."

After raising $411,000 in the first two years, Bernard expects to crack the half-million mark this weekend.

And she welcomes the public to watch the curling Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there is no admission charge. The curlers will be more than happy to sign autographs.

A silent auction, featuring curling, hockey and football memorabilia, will be set up and a dinner and dance are set for Saturday night.

For tickets to the dance, contact the CBCF at 209-2233.

UP FOR A VISIT: A little world-class competition dropped in on the Okotoks Curling Club on the weekend.

Needing a bonspiel to prepare for the men's worlds starting Saturday in Victoria, the Australian and New Zealand rinks spent the weekend in Okotoks curling.

Vic Sager, Okotoks' ice god, said the Aussies and Kiwis had a grand time after training at the Calgary Winter Club.

Especially since the Australian team, skipped by Hugh Milliken, won the bonspiel.

"Most of those fellas are Canadian anyway," Sager said, chuckling.

And does that mean folks in Okotoks have a few different countries to root for next week?

"I guess we'll be cheering for three different countries," Sager said.

Who's the third?

Randy Ferbey, of course, and he opens the worlds Saturday against Germany's Andy Kapp and New Zealand's Sean Becker.


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