Man launches $100 million treasure hunt to fight cancer


Grieving man opens international treasure hunt
to raise $100 million for breast cancer research
Canadian telecom entrepreneur Ron Shore has turned his grief over the death of several family members and friends into creating a unique million-dollar internet treasure hunt to raise $100 million for breast cancer research.
Shore has begun a cross-Canada tour to raise awareness for The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt. The challenge for treasure hunters will be to uncover a solid gold statue and other treasures valued at more than $1 million.
The project was bankrolled from Shore’s life savings. He got sponsors, remortgaged his house, and drew down his savings to cover the cost of creating the prizes and the website. His personal investment is about $800,000.
To break even, Shore must sell 50,000 to 60,000 copies of two books he has written, though his goal is to sell more than one million copies. The books devise an international internet hunt for 13 treasures, including a grand prize worth $1 million.
People buy the books and read them in search of clues. Then they go on the internet and use the clues to find the treasures. One is located in southern Ontario, the others are around the globe. Twenty per cent of the money raised from the sale of the books will go to breast cancer research. His fundraising goal is a very ambitious $100 million
“Here’s an opportunity to create a huge pool of financial support for cancer research and to allow readers of the book an adventure of a lifetime,” says Shore, whose company is based in Vancouver.
From 2001 to 2004, cancer robbed Shore of 17 close friends and family members, including his brother, and his sister-in-law Gabi Helms who was taken by breast cancer.
Gabi, a University of British Columbia professor who had battled breast cancer and won, three years earlier, discovered in 2004 it had returned. Pregnant, she refused treatment to protect her unborn child. Helms died two months after learning the cancer had returned and, just two days after delivering her daughter Hana.
“The deaths, in particular the loss of Gabi, moved me to do something about it, to unite mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who have been impacted by this disease while recognizing that fathers, husbands, brothers and sons are similarly impacted when one of their family is told they have breast cancer.”
From those dark days was born an audacious plan to battle cancer in a new way.
To tackle donor fatigue, Shore created a treasure hunt with a series of stunning treasures hidden around the world.
Shore is the president of Telesave Communications, a telecom company based in Vancouver. An adventurer, innovator and treasure-hunting expert, he is also founder of the Hunt For The Cause Foundation, established to find a cure for breast cancer and support those affected by the disease.
A longtime aficionado of treasure hunts, Shore wrote his MBA thesis at the University of British Columbia on staging the world's greatest treasure hunt.
Shore’s high-tech approach brings ‘X’-marks-the-spot and tattered maps into the digital age with a fantastic website and a truly inspired book with tales of lost treasures like Captain Kidd and The Holy Grail. 
Shore has written a book filled with treasure-finding clues. To start the “quest” treasure hunters must purchase the book, The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt, Quest for the Golden Eaglefor $29.95 and, if they wish, a companion help book, Cracking the Code, for $17.95.
The books are available at, and  Twenty per cent of the sales will go to breast cancer research.
The best part of the hunt is that participants never have to leave the comfort of their homes. The quest takes place entirely on the Internet at until they are one of the declared winners.
Then there are the 13 extraordinary treasures. The grand prize is a solid gold, jewel-encrusted statue appraised at more than $1 million. The Golden Eagle, weighing 18 pounds of solid gold, has two 1.1-carat pear-shaped diamond eyes and 763 diamonds covering its head weighing 54 carats. It features the famed "Atocha Star" emerald, which was salvaged from the Atocha, the largest Spanish treasure galleon ever found. 
Other prizes include a dozen solid silver eagles with sapphire eyes, each valued at $20,000. They’re replicas of the Golden Eagle and each contains nearly 14 pounds of 99% pure silver. One of these treasures is hidden within 250 kilometres of Toronto.
And so the hunt is on. Shore, travelling with one of the eagles, is spreading the word across Canada in October, accompanied by a member of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.  The timing is perfect, since October if Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Shore’s plan calls for raising $3 to $5 million through book sales, as well as $5 million through donations at the point of purchase. Shore also wants 10 to15 corporations, foundations and individuals to match what the hunt raises to reach the $100-million goal.
A treasure hunt aficionado who has successfully found treasures in three hunts in B.C., Shore has already received hundreds of submissions from treasure seekers but none have been correct - yet.
With such an audacious plan the quest presents enormous opportunities for the funding of breast cancer research.
"It may never come to success but if you don't try, nothing will ever be done, and that's why people take risks. Yes, it's a big dream, but big dreams do come true. When you lose so many people in so short a time, it really, really impacts you. You look at it and say if somebody had only done something years ago, it could have saved my sister-in-law."
Ron Shore will be touring Canada as follows: Calgary, Oct. 19,20; Edmonton, Oct. 21,22; Toronto, Oct. 27, 28,29; London and Kitchener, Oct. 29,30,31; Halifax, Nov. 1,2 and Winnipeg, Nov. 3.4.
Learn more about the project at or contact Randy Ray, publicist at (613) 731-3873; (613) 816-3873; or
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·      Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women
·      In 2010, 23,200 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer
·      One in nine women will develop breast cancer
·      Since 1986, the breast cancer death rate has fallen by more than 30%, likely due to advances in treatment and better screening
Source: Breast Cancer Foundation of Canada at