Students raise over $8,000 to support childhood cancer patients and their families
On November 7, Donald A. Wilson Secondary School staff and students gathered in their gym to ride bikes and raise money.
“This is our very first year running the Inside Ride event,” says Jennifer Webb, Teacher at Donald A. Wilson SS. Webb teaches the Grade 12 business leadership course which gave students the opportunity to organize the event.
Stationary bikes were set up all over the gym and each bike was labelled with a team name. Tori Dimytruk, a Grade 12 student currently in the course explains the process, “We set up a website where people could sign up their teams and donate either online or in class.” She adds, “Each team needed a minimum of $50 per person to participate. There are six people per team. We have 20 full teams, so that’s $6,000.”
That $6,000 doesn’t include the students’ fundraising efforts before the Inside Ride event. “They did various fundraising activities. They did a basketball tournament, a bake sale, and now they’re doing some raffling,” says Webb. Including all fundraising events, the students have raised over $8,000.
At the end of Inside Ride all funds were donated to various childhood cancer-related organizations such as the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO), Camp Oochigeas, and Hearth Place.
Exercise, costumes and spirit
POGO works to ensure childhood cancer patients and their families have equitable access to care. It is especially meaningful to Dimytruk as she is a childhood cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 13. “I was a cancer patient when I was a kid, so I know from experience that the money we are putting towards this really helps. There was a lot that wouldn’t have been possible without the help from POGO and those places.”
Each team dressed up in their chosen theme costumes, and rotated bike-riding for 10 minutes at a time. Prizes were awarded for highest mileage, best costume, highest amount raised, and most spirit.
Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell also attended and presented Dave Fitchett, Administrative Officer at the Durham District School Board, with a certificate acknowledging the hard work and community contribution of the students.
Webb notes, “This teaches them so many skills like cooperation, teamwork, and leadership. These skills are transferable and they can take them into the next stage of life.”