Despite limited access to their school and more limited means of communication between students due to the teacher’s strike, some 50 Oak Bay High students turned out at an organizational meeting to raise money for kids with cancer.
“Social media is key definitely,” said Jessica Manness, 17, one of this year’s campaign leaders. “We had a few meetings with key members then we had a big group meeting and we decided to go forward.”
Oak Bay High is well-known for its large annual donation to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, a long distance bike ride which raises money for pediatric cancer research and programs for children with a history of cancer. The Tour de Rock team cycles from one end of Vancouver Island to the other, over 14 days, covering 1,000 kilometres.
“Normally, for Cops for Cancer, there is 15 different things going on at the school. But we’re not in school this year so we’ve brought it down to about five main events,” said Taylor Chan, 17, another campaign leader.
Along with Claire Wood, 17, the three campaign leaders are doing their best to keep the energy going in the campaign and doing what they can to make sure when the Tour de Rock riders arrive in Oak Bay on Oct. 2, Oak Bay High students will be on hand with a big cheque to donate.
“We’ve amped up the online (campaign). People can donate through the website,” added Wood.
Oak Bay High vice principal Murray Allen is helping the students stay “pumped up” said Manness.
“He really came through for us,” she said.
The students have already held a three-day bake sale and car wash to raise money and this weekend will hold one of their biggest money makers, a bottle drive.
“We have an account set up at the bottle depot, so people can go directly there and donate to the Oak Bay High Cops for Cancer account,” said Wood.
Residents are also invited to leave bottles by the curb before 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20 for students to collect.
Students will also be collecting bottles at the school, 2151 Cranmore Rd., between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday.
New this year is a community fair which will be held at Willows Park on Sunday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes face painting, obstacle courses, entertainment, prizes and a barbecue. All money raised at the event goes toward Cops for Cancer.
“When I first started at Oak Bay High, Cops for Cancer (fundraising) started as soon as school began,” said Chan. “For me, at the time, I thought, ‘it’s just a fundraiser, what’s everybody so excited about?’ Then they show you a video about Camp Goodtimes, the campaign leaders talk to you about it – it’s so amazing, everyone is so invested in this cause, it really helps bring everyone together.”
Last year, the school donated in excess of $56,000 to the Tour de Rock, this year, the students say, they are aiming just as high.
“This year, it’s about showing what OB Nation can still do,” said Manness. “There’s no reason they should have to tell kids they don’t get to go to camp this year.”
Donate to the Oak Bay High Cops for Cancer campaign online at oakbay.sd61.bc.ca, click on the link at the top of the page.