Laurier Shine Day raises $66,939

Photo by Jessica Dik

Photo by Jessica Dik

Wilfrid Laurier University completed their 55th annual Shinerama fundraising campaign on Saturday, September 12 raising $66,939.01.

Shinerama was founded at Laurier, then Waterloo Lutheran University, in 1961 as a local shoe shinning fundraiser. In 1964, Shinerama launched as a national campaign and redirected their funds towards the fight against cystic fibrosis.

Shinerama has grown to be the largest post-secondary fundraiser in Canada with many schools, such as Laurier, integrating it into their Orientation Week activities.

“At this point Laurier has a pretty fantastic Shinerama campaign that’s already in place,” said Alexander DeCiantis, Shinerama coordinator. “We didn’t really have to introduce any new fundraisers per se, it was kind of just using the same one just promoting and executing it differently.”

Laurier’s fundraising began following the orientation conference, when coloured team leaders and the various O-Week committees competed to raise funds online, through which they earned just under $34,000.

The main event, Shine Day, was held on Sept. 12 and had hundreds of first-years spread across the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

Though Shine Day fell less than a week after first-years arrived at Laurier, this did not prevent students from throwing themselves into the event.

“Students had challenges every half hour be like, okay this half-hour we’ll raise $75, next half-hour we’ll raise $100,” said Olivia Matthews, president & CEO of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. “They’ve only been here for a week and they’re already into it.”

Shine Day raised a total of $66,939.01, which combined with the online fundraising and a $10,000 donation from Laurier’s summer softball league, MLSB, has brought a total thus far of $110,898.

This falls short of Laurier’s previous years’ amount, as well as their projected goal of $140,000. But this drop comes as no surprise to Shinerama organizers.

“We had some pretty unforeseen circumstances this year, like we had 11 Shine sites, and a few of our biggest ones, cancel like two days before,” said DeCiantis. “Wal-Mart changed their policy where we could no longer solicit in front of them, so that was seven sites right there that we couldn’t go to and those are usually some pretty big sites.”

Regardless of the drop in proceeds, Laurier managed to maintain its position as one of the highest fundraising post-secondary institutions in the nation.

“Laurier is always either at the top, or the second best school in the nation,” said DeC iantis. “There [are] schools that [are] like ‘our goal is $250,’ so to raise that much, regardless, is pretty outstanding.”

Irrespective of the money earned, Shine Day is organized in part to provide incoming students with an O-Week activity which differs from the typical academic or purely light-hearted activities, an objective which Deciantis believes the organizers managed to achieve.

“I think the biggest thing is that although it’s a competition between the colour teams, it’s something that really unites the first-years in a positive way. I think from there it very much sets the tone for their year, have them wanting to volunteer and get involved.”   

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