Shinerama a huge success
By Becky Somerville
The future will look a little brighter for victims of Cystic Fibrosis after Western students soared above and beyond the Shinerama goal by over $30,000.
Melissa Cousineau, VP-student affairs, said the gross total for this year's campaign was over $94,000 with money still coming in from the residences.
"It was beyond all our expectations," she said.
Last year Western's Shinerama campaign donated $58,000 to Cystic Fibrosis and the goal for this year was extended to $61,000, she said.
The fact that Shinerama day, in which participants enter the community to raise money, fell on a Saturday this year where in past years it took place on Wednesday, worried the committee because the work force wasn't out, Cousineau explained.
Nonetheless, Saturday brought in roughly $62,000 more money than the whole week alone, she added. "No matter what day it is, London is willing to support a good cause."
Cousineau added the participants took the Shinerama campaign as a personal challenge.
"If you let people know and ask them for their help, they'll be there," she said.
This year the Shinerama barbecue brought in roughly $7,500, Cousineau said.
"I think students were really made aware of what Cystic Fibrosis is and it became personal to them," she said.
Shinerama commissioner Serina Manek said this year's campaign focused more on awareness than money and the students' knowledge of the disease was increased through presentations at residences and during Orientation week.
Manek said the image everyone has of Western as being apathetic can be dispelled when you look at the numbers.
"If you let students know what's going on, you'll see that they care," she said.
Cathleen Morrison, executive director for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, said the large gross total was a wonderful way to celebrate Western's 30th anniversary in the Shinerama campaign.
"This is way beyond anything we could have anticipated," she said.
Since 1968 Western has raised over $1.5 million through Shinerama and continues to be the largest contributor to the campaign in Canada.
Morrison said in 1968 the median survival age for children with Cystic Fibrosis was seven years, while today it is 31 years.
"The Western students have a tradition of leadership in the Shinerama campaign," she said. "We really owe a huge debt of thanks to the university and those who organized the campaign."
Morrison said the Canada-wide goal is to raise $1.5 million for Cystic Fibrosis and the totals will be calculated at the end of September.