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Churchill Public aiming high for hospice

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Apr 23, 2014 - 4:37 PM |

Looking to raise more than $14K for palliative services

Earlier this year, the woman David Farrow considers to be his professional mentor — former Rainbow District School Board director of education Jean Hanson — passed away from cancer at Maison Vale Hospice.

“She was someone I knew and respected very well,” the principal of Churchill Public School said.

During an April 23 assembly kicking off Churchill's yearly fundraising campaign for RBC Hike for Hospice, Farrow asked his students if they'd agree to donate what they raise this year in Hanson's memory.

The children answered with an enthusiastic “Yes!”

Over the past two years, the school has raised $24,200 for the hospice through the hike — $10,000 in 2012 and $14,200 last year. Churchill's goal is to raise at least $14,201 this year — or $1 more than it did last year.

Over the next week, Churchill's students will collect pledges from family and friends. The school is also raising funds through a number of school activities, including a dance, a hot dog day and dress up days.

“It's amazing how all those little loonies and toonies add up,” said educational assistant Leslie Chisholm-Paul, the fundraiser's organizer.

As a fundraising incentive, the school has been divided in half to see which team can raise the most.

One team is led by the school's vice-principal, Stephen MacKenzie, and the other by Chisholm-Paul. Members of the losing team — including MacKenzie or Chisholm-Paul — have to perform a dance in front of the school.

Chisholm-Paul laughs her dancing skills aren't that great, but they're probably better than MacKenzie's.

To wrap up its campaign, the school will hold its own RBC Hike for Hospice walk May 2, with older students walking in a loop out along Lasalle Boulevard and back to the school, and younger students walking in the school grounds.

The city-wide hike is set to start at 11 a.m. May 4 at the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre in Bell Park. The event raised $151,000 overall last year. Farrow pointed out Churchill was responsible for five per cent of that total.

Chisholm-Paul said it is a bit difficult speaking to kids about the hospice, which, after all, is a place people go to die. But she said she thinks most are able to understand its importance.

Grade 6 student Ricola Sumner said she visited the hospice along with other Churchill students last year and the year before.

She said she was nervous during her first visit, because she thought it would be a sad place, but was relieved to find she was mistaken.

“We got to have a picnic and talk to some of the residents,” Sumner said. “They weren't even sad at all.”

Nathalie Depatie, fund development co-ordinator at Maison Vale Hospice, said Churchill's fundraising efforts are outstanding.

“They are the only school in the community so far that participates in this fundraiser,” she said. “We absolutely love their involvement.”
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer


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