Shinerama 2005 breaks the $20,000 mark

By Bretton Davie

When Shinerama event organizers Christie Docking and Emily Wyatt told the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation their goal of raising $20,000, the foundation told them it was too ambitious for the University of Calgary. But as the intense fund-raising campaign nears its end, they are only $600 short of their target, setting a new record for the event.

Shinerama is a national fund-raising effort by almost 60 post-secondary institutions across Canada. Begun in 1964 at Wilfrid Laurier University, Shinerama is now in its 42nd year and the CCFF boasts it is Canada’s largest post-secondary fund raiser. The initiative has raised almost $16 million to date for the research of cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease that affects one in every 2,500 youth in Canada.

The U of C Students’ Union is in its fifth year of participation, however they raised only $12,000 in 2003 and $11,000 in 2004. Shinerama 2005 has set the U of C record for the event by raising $19,400 and is still going strong.

“Our goal was to create a legacy in Shinerama,” said Wyatt, noting there have been several factors contributing to this year’s increased total. “Getting sponsorship was a huge step for us.”

Docking explained how increased media coverage also contributed to the success.

“We went on Citytv and did Breakfast Television with Kelly Rudy, and [SU Vice-President Events] Alex Vyskocil shined his skates.” Wyatt and Docking also gave credit to the increased number of enthusiastic volunteers.

What started in 1964 as a shoe-shine is now a whole series of fund-raising events. The U of C’s contributions included Bling-Bling and a BBQ during U of C 101. Other events included a hypnotist, Den Cover Night, and Suck-a-Buck (a sucker selling initiative that will conclude the Shinerama events).The traditional Shine Day took place Sat., Sept. 17 and had volunteers located at nine different locations across Calgary. Participation by Mayor Dave Bronconnier was one of the highlights of the day. He had his shoes shined, donating $30 to the cause.

The SU’s campaign is still far from competing nationally. Waterloo’s Wilfrid Laurier University raised over $177,000 in 2003, but Docking is optimistic.

“We think we have set the ground work for it to grow and grow,” she said.