Students make an Epic Pull

Students make an Epic Pull for cystic fibrosis by dragging an RV across Canada

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A sign in the UCC artrium asks

Jon Purdy

FORGET A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS, GIVE US A TOONIE FOR A CURE. Epic Pull took over the University Community Centre atrium yesterday to raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis.

A large green map of Canada graced the University Community Centre’s floor yesterday, as members of a new campus fundraising group, Epic Pull, sought attention for its cause.

Epic Pull is a six-person team planning to pull a 1984 RV across Canada to raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis research. The group will stop in 25 cities.

Like with Shinerama, Epic Pull’s proceeds go to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting one in every 3,600 Canadian children. Research money raised by foundations like CCFF has significantly increased the life expectancy of people suffering from cystic fibrosis. Whereas most children with cystic fibrosis in the 1960s didn’t live long enough to attend kindergarten, today half of all Canadians with cystic fibrosis are expected to live into their 30s.

Bill Smolders, chief co-ordinator of Epic Pull, said he’s excited about the journey, which is scheduled to begin in May.

“The RV is going to be all decked out,” Smolders said. “We’re painting it blue and orange Shinerama colours and will be adding all sorts of toys to it to make it really visible.”

The group consists of six Western students from all different faculties. Most were involved with Shinerama events in September, Smolders added.

Each stop on the tour will feature a scheduled event during which the team members will pull the RV around a parking lot for a distance of anywhere from 100 to 200 metres, Smolders said.

Each pull will be dedicated to a local child under 12 years old suffering from cystic fibrosis, Smolders added.

Smolders said the group will continue raising money before the trip starts by holding an “Epic Garage Sale” May 5 and a dinner May 11, where the newly decorated RV will be unveiled. Dinner tickets are $30 and it takes place at Windermere Manor, located at 200 Collip Circle.

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