Shine on you crazy diamonds

In 1964, students at what is now Wilfrid Laurier University started a fundraising campaign shining shoes to raise money for cystic fibrosis.

Today, Shinerama is the single most successful student fundraiser in the country. Since its humble beginnings the event has raised over $13.1 million for CF research and involves over 60 campuses across Canada.

Shinerama comes to the University of Calgary for the third year in a row from Sept. 22-26. A multitude of events have happened: Bling Bling, car washes, Barbie Bash in MacEwan Student Centre and shining shoes.

This year’s goal is to hit the $15,000 mark that would surpass last year’s total which was just over $11,000.

Widespread success of the fundraiser has defied the spirit of the penniless student and has evoked a deeper rooted sense of having a good time and getting involved.

"The volunteers get out there and get to know people," says Richard "Krafty" Bergen, Students’ Union Vice-President Events. "It’s an event where you can have fun."

Rivalry has traditionally ensured successful fundraising. NAIT and SAIT annually challenge each other to see who can raise the most money. The losing campaign director has to bungee jump at West Edmonton Mall, or ride the Stampede Bull in Calgary. Each, in turn, has faced defeat in past years.

U of C’s final Shinerama events will start on Fri., Sept. 26 with a media kick-off including guest speakers such as Dave Rodney, who scaled Mount Everest twice.

Music will play and volunteers will be shining shoes and busking for CF donations in various city locations throughout the day.

In 2001, U of C was given the "most persistent" award by instituting the beat of Hanson’s "Mmm Bop" in MSC until students donated $1,000 to have it turned off.

In the spirit of persistence, "Barbie Girl" by Aqua infiltrated the campus noon-hour hangout this year, but the fundraising goal rose to $2,000.

"With this song, money will be raised no problem," said a passing student happy to donate. "The question is, will it turn people off from coming to Mac Hall?"

He ponders a minute, looks around, and the normal swarm of socializing students make his answer self-evident.

In the past two years "Mmm Bop" and the "Hamster Dance" have seen Calgary bylaw officers intervening with noise complaints. This year’s "Barbie Girl" is rumored to be a notch softer.

"The Barbie song is more humane," affirmed SU External Commissioner Kevin Maloney, who volunteered Mon., Sept. 22 at the Barbie Bash table.

Maloney admitted some of the students who donate are angry, although the majority are still having fun with it.

"There is talk about switching to the Barney song," confided Maloney, just in case students start enjoying the Barbie song too much. "Drastic times call for drastic measures."

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