The emphasis was on ‘fun’ during a fundraiser at Ecole St. Patrick High School last Friday evening, although the cause was for a serious one: the Canadian Cancer Society.

A Relay for Life event was organized by the school’s Interact Club — a youth group affiliated with the Yellowknife Rotary Club — and students and teachers were up until midnight enjoying a variety of activities, music and food while raising money for cancer research. Chloe Son, one of the organizers of the Relay, said the event was a way to bring the school together to support a good cause and to help those affected by the disease.

“The Canadian Cancer Society set up a website for us and through that, people were able to register and share a link to fundraise,” Son said. “A lot of it has been on social media and some people have gone door-to-door to fundraise.

“For our participants, we have just under 100, and we have quite a few teachers and volunteers as well. Everybody who was involved with the event – we have between 125 and 150,” she said of the team effort. As a result, Son said the amount raised far exceeded the goal and the expectations.

“Currently, we are at just over $16,000. Our initial goal was $10,000, so we are completely blown away that we were able to raise so much,” she said.

Participants in the Relay for Life event walk around a course set up in the gymnasium at Ecole St. Patrick High School. Jill Westerman photo.

Another part of the fun in the fundraising effort was that by raising over a certain amount of cash, Son said the student or team was given the ‘reward’ of getting to pie a teacher in the face, pouring cold water on them, or watching a teacher get their head shaved — all willing participants for a good cause.

“In choosing the events, it was what we thought would work best with our school and what would seem like fun for them,” she said.

“Part of it was help from the Canadian Cancer Society and some of it was our group committee coming together and thinking what would be the best things that we can do for our school to make it fun and also to fundraise,” she said.

The money raised will go towards cancer research and supporting people who have been affected by cancer along with their families, she said.

“And some of it goes towards a caller line where people can call in for support and usually they are talking to other cancer survivors. I know that really helps a lot for cancer survivors,” she added.

Everyone was very excited and happy to be part of the entire event, Son said.

“We’ve gotten a much better turnout and much better success with this event than I was originally anticipating. It is so exciting to see all the teachers and students having fun with this,” she said.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society website, in 2022, $4.3 million was raised by 28,000 students from 163 schools in Canada during Relay for Life events.

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