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Meet Alissa ‘Wink’ Winicki, the strategic fighter!

Fight To End Cancer #FTEC2023 Fighter, Alissa Winicki [Photo Credit: Rebecca Freeman]

After a workday spent litigating estates contested by warring families, followed by an hour-long commute on two subway lines, a bus, and a hike along the industrial road to the gym, it’s the sport of boxing, says Alissa Winicki, that unburdens the mind.

The focus needed to take shots on an opponent or follow coaches’ orders as they shout numbers that denote combinations of hits – ‘one’ for the jab, ‘two’ for the cross or ‘five’ for a left-hand uppercut – keeps Alissa in the moment. It’s a good place.

Like half of her teammates, Alissa returned to complete a second season of training for the Fight To End Cancer after the 2020 event was cancelled by the COVID lockdown. There was never a chance she wouldn’t return.

“Personally, I wanted to see it through,” Alissa says. “You’re thinking about it, dreaming about the match, putting your training on display.”

It’s the physical rigour of boxing and, intellectually, the parallels to her profession that appeal to Alissa, a lawyer with Hummingbird Lawyers LLP. Her practice focuses on familial disputes, challenges to wills or decisions on who should act as an estate trustee.

“Lots of disgruntled family members and fighting siblings.”

“Boxing is akin to the practice of law in that it’s inherently adversarial in nature. You size up the facts of your opponent’s case – height, weight, reach – together with their strategy – footwork and speed. And, like managing legal files, boxing forces you to be methodical, with positioning, timing.”

~ Alissa Winicki, FTEC2023 Fighter

Law aside, Alissa thrives on challenge and the FTEC training is challenging.

Alissa Training For Fight To End Cancer 2023. [Photo credit: Virgil Barrow]

“I like how tough they are on you. I don’t ask Virgil (Barrow) anything. I just do what he says. If you’re doing something wrong, they will call you out, put you on the spot, make you better.”

All this effort, of course, goes toward The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and Alissa is fundraising – and fighting – with two people in mind.

One is Antonio P. Raviele, who lost his father, Pasquale, founder of Vieni Estates winery, to cancer in 2017.

Antonio is a partner at RV Law LLP, where Alissa used to work, and is a long-time sponsor of the Fight To End Cancer. It was Antonio who inspired Alissa to try out for the team. For years now, the winery has partnered with FTEC to raise money for cancer research.

“A part of my fight is dedicated to Antonio. A second dedication goes to a man I met years ago while working my way through university at my grandmother’s physiotherapy clinic. His name was Colin Bell, he was a physiotherapist at the clinic, and he died from cancer this January. He, probably unknowingly, provided me with guidance when I was younger. He obviously took things seriously but did so in a way that made them feel light. You wanted to be around him. He was known for making time for fun, music, friends. I appreciated his approach to life.

For Alissa, seeing the losses among friends made her want to do something tangible, something to shine a light on cancer research and, she hopes, bring a bit of solace to their grief.

Photos in order: Alissa with Antonio, Colin Bell, and Alissa with her loved ones

“I remember saying to Antonio, ‘I don’t know if I can win for you, but I can fight for you.’”

The FTEC2023 Fight Team  stands united to Fight The Fight That Affects Us All! With the goal of reaching $3 million in 2023, 100% of all KO Cancer Bootcamp proceeds go to research at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.


Public Relations Team, Fight To End Cancer

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Help the #FTEC2023 Fight Team reach their goal of $3 million dollars before Fight Night! Use the link below to get to know the individual team members better and support them in their Fight To End Cancer! Defeat Is NOT An Option

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About The Fight To End Cancer

The Fight To End Cancer (FTEC) is a year-round initiative carried out by ambassadors, sponsors and volunteers worldwide.  Over $2,000,000 has been donated to date, since our inaugural year, in 2012.  Funds raised by FTEC are donated directly to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.  Each year we celebrate the incredible hard work and dedication of our FTEC family with a black-tie charity boxing gala.  This gala showcases ten men and women who represent our Official Fight Team.  Our goal is to raise funds for cancer research year-round with the support of the local community and business owners.  Let’s make a difference now in the fight to end cancer, for a long and successful future for everyone.  This is an event like no other and has quickly become one of the most anticipated events in Toronto.

About The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for breakthrough research, exemplary teaching and compassionate care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which now includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute. More information about the Foundation can be found at