The student population of roughly 1,200 at Oak Bay High erupted into cheers, shattering the respectful silence they maintained as the Tour de Rock Cops for Cancer riders filed in to the new gym Thursday morning.
The scene was set in motion by teacher Chad Jacques to mimic the awkward minutes of silence bestowed on a major league baseball rookie when returns to the dugout after hitting a home run.
“The comparison was the riders hit a home run,” said assistant principal Murray Allen. “For a first event in the new gym, I think it’s totally appropriate that it was Tour de Rock.”
The silence and ensuing mayhem were an impressive feat to match the school’s impressive total raised for the Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser – $40,215 – and the inaugural event held in Oak Bay High’s new gym.
“This was an outstanding campaign,” he said. “The challenges the kids faced and had to overcome were significant, yet they kept on going. In the about 10 days they had to run the campaign, they raised about $40,000 but more importantly, it was the attitude of kids working for kids. The number of kids working in the school was huge.”
He singles out leaders Jessica Manness, Taylor Chan and Claire Wood who inspired students and staff, particularly Jacques and Pam Carbery who “went beyond.”
“The support from our staff is always outstanding and it was again this year,” Allen said.
The campaign epitomized the strengths of OB Nation, the term used by the school to encompass staff, students, business and community.
“OB Nation came together for a great cause, and so the tradition continues,” Allen said. “They support this cause for the right reasons.”
In a bid to show how their fundraising will change lives, the students did a rising count as to how many kids the funds they raised through myriad endeavours will send to camp. It sent the students into a second frenzy, as they surpassed 20 and leapt to 27 kids heading to Camp Goodtimes this year because of Oak Bay High.