Annual ‘Shine Day’ shows strong efforts

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Rain and cloudy skies didn’t seem to damper spirits on the most recent “Shine Day” on Sept. 8, as Shinerama volunteers and first-year students collectively raised approximately $106,000 for cystic fibrosis awareness and research. The total from all of Orientation Week was $149,000, roughly a $2,000 increase from last year.

“The dedication and commitment that our first years showed was outstanding, they still all made a great appearance despite the rain, [which] I thought was really impressive,” explained Samantha Nash, the coordinator for Shinerama this year.

While this total was an increase from last year, Nash noted that this isn’t the highest that Wilfrid Laurier University has ever raised. According to her, the Shinerama fundraising at Laurier has consistently been better than efforts made by other Canadian universities.

“Laurier is the number one fundraising school in Canada and we have been for a number of years,” she added.

According to Nash, cystic fibrosis, a recessive genetic disorder that severely affects the respiratory system, affects about one in 25 Canadians each year. Many members from the Waterloo community came and spoke about this illness to many of the first years during Shine Day.

“I was actually pretty overwhelmed with how comprehensive it was, and how many were students taking part,” said Rob Lake, a kinesiology professor at Laurier who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Lake, a first-time professor at Laurier, happened to pass by some students on “Shine Day” and took the time to donate money and speak to them.

“It’s just phenomenal. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a university taking such concern with one particular charity for so long, I just think it’s fantastic,” he added.

Both Lake and Nash asserted that major strides have been made in cystic fibrosis research, and that a cure is within sight.  They believe that efforts should be increased so that goal is achieved earlier rather than later.

“Realistically, in the next five or ten years, there’s going be cure, and that’s just an awesome thing to be part of,” said Lake.

According to Lake, people should pay attention to cystic fibrosis and help out with the movement because the disease is something that a person is born with, so they have no way of preventing it.

“[So] here’s a chance to do something in our lifetime,” added Lake.

He also shared some interest in getting involved with the movement next year, and hopes to share his experiences to the new set of Shinerama volunteers and first-year students.

“I definitely want to get involved, whether that means I get my hands dirty and do some fundraising myself or maybe speaking to some of the students before hand,” he said.

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