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By December 31, 2016January 6th, 2022No Comments

LEFT: FTEC’s Official Ring Announcer, Barry Pletch, working alongside Canadian Entertainment Host, Ben Mulroney (right) at the 2016 Fight To End Cancer Charity Boxing Gala.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Theodorou Photography


Friday December 30, 2016
Article By: Luis Parades

“LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!” These words were made famous by legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer, setting the bar high for engaging and dynamic boxing events all over the world.  A skilled and enthusiastic ring announcer can be the one element that takes a great event and makes it spectacular. Every great event needs a voice, and Fight To End Cancer is extremely proud to have the talented Barry Pletch on our team as the Official FTEC Ring Announcer. Every year Barry brings his A-game, and his enthusiasm and passion for what he does shines through, helping to make Fight To End Cancer the truly one of a kind event that it is.
Barry’s many contributions to the event have been a major part of its continued success. Not only does Barry work very hard to prepare for and announce during the gala, he is also an important member of the executive committee, contributing year-round to make Fight To End Cancer even bigger and better every year.


How did you get involved with Fight To End Cancer?


Barry interviewing Rio Olympian and Pan Am Champion Mandy Bujold during FTEC 2016
Photo Credit: Dayrit Photography

I have known Rob Gorican, Production Director at FTEC, from when I performed in live theatre in the 1990s and when I was a Co-Host for the Miss Canada International Pageant in 1999 & 2000.   I bumped into him one day in the spring of 2013 at a LCBO.   We chatted and the whole time I noticed his physical features had changed dramatically since the last time I saw him. He had cheekbones and a jaw line that I had never seen before.  I was deeply concerned for his wellbeing.  As we parted ways I asked Rob, “are you okay – I mean – health wise?  You’ve lost a LOT of weight.” His eyes opened wide and smiled ear to ear and said he was in the best shape of his life!   He was training at the Kingsway Boxing Club to be in the ring for the upcoming 2013 Fight to End Cancer and was having such a great experience with the whole campaign.  The bonus was all the time he spent in the gym.
In the early winter of 2014, Rob reached out and informed me that the Fight To End Cancer was interviewing candidates for the role of Ring Announcer and that my experience from the Pageants might be a nice fit.   From there I met the charismatic and driven leader of FTEC – Jennifer Huggins.   Like many, many people I was immediately drawn by her passion, dedication and enthusiasm to the mission of FTEC – to conquer cancer in our lifetime.  We hit it off immediately and she extended the invite for me to be part of this amazing team — this amazing family.

Why is the Fight To End Cancer important to you?

Cancer isn’t a stranger to anyone.  We’ve all been saddened by this disease.  I lost my grandmother when I was young and still miss her to this day.  My uncle passed away and it was shocking to the whole family how fragile life really is.  My father-in-law was the quirkiest, wisest, kindest man I have ever met and it was heartbreaking to witness him lose his battle to cancer.  Young moms in my neighbourhood have recently passed away from this horrible disease causing everyone to ask – “Why her?”

Barry with the Official Ring Girls at the annual FTEC 2015 Gala Photo Credit: Dayrit Photography

Barry with the Official Ring Girls at the annual FTEC 2015 Gala
Photo Credit: Dayrit Photography

In spite of the surrounding reality – I truly believe in the FTEC mission.  Last year at FTEC, it was announced that the donations from FTEC have gone directly to research at Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in the field of immunology.  It was revealed to every one in the room the breakthroughs that are happening!   That night I went home and bawled my eyes out from pure pride that FTEC is TRULY making a difference. I wholeheartedly believe we WILL conquer cancer in our lifetime.
Every year I am drawn by the personalities of the fighters – their passion, their stories, their list of people they are fighting for and their dedication to the FTEC mission.  The night is filled with pure adrenaline in the ring and pure love and positive energy in the entire Brule Room of the The Old Mill.  It is quite magical. The energy is powerful.  Something everyone needs to experience so get your tickets now!!

What is your position with FTEC?

My position is Ring Announcer.  I am the person who steps in the ring and doesn’t get hit.  At times the role can be like a ringleader at a three-ring circus from all the energy and events during the fun-filled night because you never know how a fight will go.   These are real sanctioned fights.  These every day people become extra ordinary fighters boxing in the ring with hundreds of people cheering them on.   I’ve shed a few tears and experienced flocks of goosebumps every night.  It’s a night like no other and I love every second of it!

Tell us about a day in the life of you.

For my regular job – I am a Territory Account Manager for Great Lakes Brewery (GLB)  – a fantastic craft brewery right here in Toronto.  I have the dream job along with the GLB Family of making the world a better place with fresh beer from GLB.   No day is typical — mostly partnering with great bars and restaurants across this province to have our brands on tap. Or you can find me working at special events and festivals to interact with our fans and to introduce our tasty brew to folks curious about craft beer.

Barry with Official Fight Team Coach Virgil Barrow at FTEC Media Day 2016
Photo Credit: Dayrit Photography

Barry has done so much for the Fight To End Cancer and we could not be more proud to have him on our team and in our Fight To End Cancer family. His voice sets the tone for the entirety of the event and his hard work and dedication make Fight To End Cancer the unique and remarkable event that it is. We are always looking for more people ready to take on the fight and if you’re interested please Contact Us and Volunteer! Together we can end cancer once and for all!