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Jina Strong! Fundraiser to help Fort McMurray Chess Club President’s battle with cancer

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Community friends are hosting a fundraiser for Fort McMurray Chess Club President Jina Burns at the Royal Canadian Legion on February 10.

Burns received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in October 2016, and has since received chemotherapy treatments and has undergone surgery. Unfortunately, the treatments were unsuccessful and she is now currently seeking alternative treatments.

Vera Fustic of YMCA Wood Buffalo has known Burns for more than 15 years and has always been impressed with her commitment to the community.

“Throughout the years, I have witnessed Jina being actively involved in a number of local organizations with the focus of improving the quality of life in our community,” Fustic said. “It’s our opportunity to show Jina that she is not alone in her struggle.”

As the founder and president of the Fort McMurray Chess Club since 2012, she has inspired many women and girls to play chess, which resulted in Fort McMurray being chosen to host the Alberta Women’s Chess Championship three times since 2013.

Since residing in Fort McMurray, Burns has also served on the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the YMCA of Wood Buffalo. Through her video production company - Snow White Productions, she has donated her services to various non-profit organizations; such as the Canadian Cancer Society, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, Fort McMurray Victim Services and many others.

“She is always working to improve our lives and now we are working to improve her life,” said Fustic.

The ‘Jina Strong! Fundraiser’ will take place at the Royal Canadian Legion from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Event organizers welcome residents of all-ages by providing a special opportunity to support a compassionate local leader, make new friends and learn more about the chess club. The free event will also have a silent auction, 50/50 draw, food, refreshments and a life-sized chess board to play.

Online donations can be made on the GoFundMe page at