Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hip + Urban Girls of the Week: The BOOBYBALL Team!

October is breast cancer awareness month! This week, we chat with the three Co-chairs of BOOBYBALL - Jennifer Zimmerman (top right), Ainsley Kerr (top left) and Lisa Kruger (bottom left). Along with Honorary Chair Aliya-Jasmine Sovani (bottom right) of MTV.

So what exactly is Booby Ball?

BOOBYBALL is Rethink Breast Cancer’s annual charity extravaganza. This year, BOOBYBALL 11 : CAMP BOOBY is set for Friday, October 12th. The goal is to raise $215,000 for Rethink.

What can people expect this year?

Guests will find themselves transported back to their best summer highlights and are encouraged to dress the part-with a sexy cocktail twist. More than 1500 party campers will be entertained with s’mores, sing-a-longs, campfire and canoes, not to mention the musical styling of DJs Brendan Fallis and Mista Jiggz. We'll be transforming The Sound Academy in to CAMP BOOBY and each guest will go home with Boobyball’s infamous overnight survival packs (goody bags).

Tell us more about Rethink and how it benefits Hip + Urban Girls?

Rethink’s mission is to continuously pioneer cutting-edge breast cancer education, support and research that speak fearlessly to the unique needs of young (or youngish) women. By taking a groundbreaking approach to all aspects of breast cancer – public awareness, medical research and fundraising - Rethink is a new breed of breast cancer charity and plays an important role in expanding support for the cause. 

What made each of you want to get involved with the organization?

Lisa Kruger: Boobyball was a perfect marriage of a cause Rethink Breast Cancer and an opportunity, BOOBYBALL that could utilize my experience in Public Relations. That was five years ago, already, being involved in BOOBYBALL has been extremely rewarding and inspiring to come together each year with a group of such talented young people and create a memorable occasion.

Jennifer Zimmerman: Rethink’s structure and mandate are really in keeping with my own views and I love the fact that they target to a young and current audience – this is not your Mother’s cancer! I get a great sense of satisfaction and pride to be on a team of young, dynamic, inspirational women and men.

Ainsley Kerr:  After university, I came back to Toronto and I wanted to find a charity that was relevant to me. Breast cancer is something that unfortunately is prominent in my family. When I attended my first Boobyball seven years ago, I knew that I needed to be a part of this dynamic group of young women making such changes in how we view breast cancer, how we talk about it and how we can help young women and men affected by and going through breast cancer. 

Favourite hangouts in Toronto?
Lisa Kruger: I live in little Italy, so I am spoiled with a wide array of hangouts, recently the place I’ve been taking all my friends to is La Carnita, it’s awesome. 

Jennifer Zimmerman: Roncesvalles or St. Lawrence Market on Saturday mornings are the best, the places I seem to hang out the most are the local leash free dog parks!

Ainsley Kerr: My place!  I love having friends over and entertaining. I find my schedule is so hectic that I rarely get a chance to breath and relax at home. So if I get a chance to do that and have my best friends over...I am a pretty happy camper.

Aliya-Jasmine Sovani: My local pub, and the SOHO house Toronto.

What did you study in College/University? Is there anything you would do differently or advise others about?

Lisa Kruger: I was an English major in university, and looking back I wouldn’t do anything differently. At the time I didn’t know where that education would lead me, but in hindsight it was a fantastic asset to my current career in Public Relations. My advice would be to always hone your skills in an avenue for which you are passionate, the opportunities will unfold if you follow that path.

Jennifer Zimmerman: I studied Illustration and Graphic Design. I can’t say I would do anything differently, I went to school for something I was truly interested in and passionate about. My only advice would be to take something you love in school – there are so many people I know who end up doing something completely different than what they have degrees in you might as well make sure you enjoy what you are taking. 

Ainsley Kerr: I studied Theatre and Film at Queens University. If you are trying to pick a school go with your gut. I actually made up my mind about which University to attend at the age of 12. There was a certain calmness about the school and the city of Kingston.  My second advice would be to study what you love. 

Aliya-Jasmine Sovani: Broadcast Communications…going to University was one of the best experiences of my life, I would definitely recommend some kind of post-secondary/college education for everyone.

What is your typical day like?

Lisa Kruger: No such thing as a typical day, I work with a fantastic team at Brill Communications so my day could begin with 5:30 am wake up (baah!!) to take a client for a morning show taping or end at midnight after a great event we’ve handled the media for. In general a lot of coordination usually via email, client meetings and pitching starting just before 9 am and then hopefully home in time to have dinner with my boyfriend or have a catch up glass of wine with friends. 

Jennifer Zimmerman: Hit snooze about a billion times, wake up in a panic because I hit snooze a billion times, jump in the car, apply makeup while driving (I do not encourage this, and do so at your own risk). Madness generally ensues almost immediately upon arrival at work and carries through until about 6 – 7 pm. Go home, take dog to park, get on treadmill, dinner and then maybe some trashy reality TV on – I don’t really discriminate, I’ll watch anything, big fan of Breaking Amish right now.

Ainsley Kerr: Up around 7:30 am and scroll through my emails on my phone and if I get a chance I try and read the newspaper – if not in the morning, in the late afternoon. I am a gym junkie so I try to get there around 8:30 am. When I head home I return urgent emails, have a quick shower and change and head to a lunch meeting. I am starting a career in voice-over work so I try to read out loud for up to an hour a day. I get back to emails and try and coordinate any conference calls in the afternoon. At around 5:30 pm I change and get ready to head out for the evening. I try to be in bed by 11:30 pm. 

Who inspires you?

Lisa Kruger: Impossible to answer! So many people; top of my list would be my Dad who really taught me the definition of work ethic and my Mom who reminds me of the importance of making family a priority ( I promise I’ll call more!).

Jennifer Zimmerman: That’s a tough one – I’ll say my Mom, because she is probably reading this (and she truly is an inspiration). My friend Richard Bogart who passed recently was really an inspiration on how to live each day to its fullest and exemplified how not to sweat the small stuff. 

Ainsley Kerr: I work with a woman named Carol Grant Sullivan who is one of the strongest and most inspiring woman I have ever met. She has had the most fascinating career and life. I am lucky to have her as a mentor and always have her believe in me even at times when I doubt myself.

Aliya-Jasmine Sovani: People who save the world like environmental activists, animal shelter volunteers, doctors without borders…I bow down to them.

What would you tell your 20 year-old self?
Lisa Kruger: I agree with Jen. And take the risk, I wish I had had the confidence I do now when I was 20,  try to remember that looking back, your failures will be lessons and your successes will be building blocks; it is a great mindset that unfortunately, only usually comes with time and experience.

Jennifer Zimmerman: You look amazing. Wear a bikini. Without a tank top over it. Stop worrying.

Ainsley Kerr: Be patient, everything comes in time. Trust your gut about people, surround yourself with people you love and respect and who love and respect you back. Everything happens for a reason. Try to see the beauty and good in every single day. 

Aliya-Jasmine Sovani: Be proud of your body! Believe in yourself! You’re worth more than you think.

What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?

Lisa Kruger: Talk to everyone, especially if you are trying to figure out a career path, not all of us were born knowing we want to be doctors or lawyers, so ask the people who have the career you want how they got there. More often than not you’ll manage to uncover a great mentor if you take the time to engage them. My life advice would be to fill your time with things, people and activities that enrich your days – good people, challenging careers and meaningful engagements, don’t waste your time sweating the small stuff, or people. 

Jennifer Zimmerman: Try not to compare or measure yourself up against your friends or colleagues. You really only need to exceed you own expectations, and that is enough pressure! My mom’s advice whenever I’d be telling her about how much better everyone else was doing, etc. would be, “But would you trade lives with them?” and the answer is always no, I’d rather stick to what I’ve got going on. 
Ainsley Kerr: Find a career that is partly what you love and partly what you are good at. If you good at something but your heart isn’t there you won’t be happy. Perhaps your ideal career isn’t a straight 9-5 office job – that’s ok! I have a friend who is a writer, actress, dog walker and yoga instructor – she is one of the happiest people I know. I couldn’t even begin to tell you the amount of different hats I wear during an average day. 

Aliya-Jasmin Sovani: People always tell you “do what you love”…don’t be scared to do what you love as a hobby. Sometime your job just needs to be something you enjoy, that you can give yourself a good life doing, and then you can afford to “do what you love” in your off time. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Twitter@ainsleykerr @lifestylelisa @rethinktweet @Zimmermade

Boobyball tickets are still on sale at and there will be an online auction going live on October 4th. 

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