Shinerama anticipates to raise more money through local partnerships

Graphic by Fani Hsieh

Graphic by Fani Hsieh

This year’s Shinerama committee, led by coordinator Jillian Utter, has already spent the summer making significant progress by fundraising. The committee is made up of Utter, five executives and 35 general volunteers.

The committee is already anticipating to raise more money than last year.

They have developed strong partnerships with local companies including Ezra-Bricker, Shoeless Joes, Frat Burger and Wilf’s, among others.

The summer was kicked off with the committee’s attendance at the annual Great Strides Walk, renamed this year, CARSTAR Walk, to Make Cystic Fibrosis History. The walk is held by Cystic Fibrosis Canada every year in local communities across Canada, to raise money for cystic fibrosis studies. This year’s walk raised over 3.5 million dollars.

“We kind of just go out and have a fun time and get to know some of the community members that have cystic fibrosis or family with cystic fibrosis,” said Utter.

The committee itself didn’t begin their own fundraising until orientation conference, where icebreakers and committee volunteers participated in a training weekend to prepare for Orientation Week at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Fundraising began over the weekend with a couple of barbecues followed by Summer Challenge, a dry run for Shine Day, which is held during Orientation Week.

Utter explained that they sent all of the icebreaking teams and committees to areas in the community to host car washes and collect money for Cystic Fibrosis.

“Summer Challenge was fantastic. The time spent educating the volunteers about the disease is a huge factor in the success of the day. Everyone is extremely motivated to work for donations and once the Waterloo citizens learn about what we are raising money for, they are happy to donate as well,” said fourth-year icebreaker, Erin Krische.

This year’s Summer Challenge was accompanied by a new event. Partnering with Shoeless Joes, fundraising continued at an after party held at the restaurant that contributed 10 per cent from every bill to Shine.

The orientation conference events were followed by the dodgeball tournament, another new event, held on July 22. The tournament had a great turn out, with members from all the icebreaking teams as well as a full committee team.

Finally, the summer’s fundraising initiatives came to a close with the annual Shinerama baseball tournament, followed by a silent auction at Wilf’s.

“Our silent auction after, at Wilf’s, went really smooth. There were some really great items that went. We actually had a basketball signed by Cory Joseph from the Raptors. Now we’re just looking forward to Orientation Week. It’s just crunch time,” said Utter.

Programming for Orientation Week is going to be a collection of old traditions and new events planned by the committee.

“We’re going to do a lot of promoting of what cystic fibrosis is and trying to educate the first-years that are coming, as well as our volunteers,” Utter said. “We bring a lot of speakers in for the week.”

The speakers will include a young boy named Christopher who has been a fixture at Orientation Week for a few years now. Christopher will be speaking at the opening ceremonies this year about his experience with cystic fibrosis.

The week will end off with the annual Shine Day event, hosted this year on September 10, where first-years and volunteers will get the opportunity to go into the community and raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. The committee hopes to extend fundraising beyond Orientation Week by continuing their partnership with Textbooks for Change and adding a few events that are yet to be announced.

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