Frosh canvass city for charity

ArtSci frosh give out stickers as a “thank you” for donations.
ArtSci frosh give out stickers as a “thank you” for donations.
Frosh collect beer bottles to raise funds for Shinerama.
Frosh collect beer bottles to raise funds for Shinerama.

When a father in need called out to the community last week, students from the class of 2009 answered with $26,000 in donations from Shinerama.

Brian Childerhose, vice-president of the Kingston chapter of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, made an emotional appeal Saturday morning to the large group.

His 17-year-old daughter Lauren suffers from cystic fibrosis (CF), and will soon undergo a lung transplant.

With tears in his eyes, Childerhose described Lauren’s chances of survival at a morning Shinerama forum. He told the group that only 15 to 20 per cent of lung-transplant patients survive the operation, and only 15 to 20 percent of the transplant recipients live for more than five years.

Taking Childerhose’s words as inspiration, ArtSci frosh, organized by Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) Orientation Week, took to the streets of Kingston in an attempt to raise money for the fight against CF. Their enthusiasm for the activities showed through in their peppy cheers and songs aimed to encourage the community to make a financial donation.

This year’s group of 2,300 ArtSci students raised $2,500 more than last year’s total of $23,500.

Ashley Preston, Orientation Week fundraising chair, said she was impressed by the efforts frosh put forward this year.

“I was blown away by the spirit and enthusiasm of this year’s frosh,” Preston said. “I have never seen results like this before.” She said Shinerama is meaningful on two different levels.

“It gives students a chance to understand what it means to work for a charity, and it also attaches you to the community,” she said. “There are a lot of people in Kingston with CF. Shinerama gets two separate entities—Queen’s and the Kingston community—working together in one combined activity.”

Shinerama also gives new students a chance to familiarize themselves with their new city.

“It’s a good way for frosh to get out in the community and meet residents of Kingston,” said Katie Uhlman, ArtSci ’09.

Kingston resident Stu Leddy said he welcomes Shinerama as an alternative to some of Orientation Week’s rowdier events.

“[Students have] done it all along since I’ve lived in Kingston,” he said, referring to the charity event while an enthusiastic Shinerama volunteer shined his shoes. “I think it’s great, personally. It beats the other option, which is partying.” Trevor Laforce, ArtSci ’09, said not all residents felt the same way, and told him they found the large number of frosh requesting donations to be overwhelming.

“People are rude at times,” he said. “But it’s great because it’s a good cause that a lot of people wouldn’t get involved with otherwise.”

ASUS is not the only undergraduate society to include volunteer work as an event during Orientation Week.

ConEd frosh participate in a charity food drive throughout the Ghetto, gathering cans to donate to a local organization. This year, the frosh gathered over 500 items to be donated to the Ryandale Shelter on Elm Street.

“The whole point is obviously to help out and get to know the streets and community of Kingston,” said Head Teach Alyssa Chan, ConEd ’07, who helped to coordinate the food drive. “We just want to encourage other Queen’s students to contribute as well.

“Our frosh are so enthusiastic about everything.” The Engineering Society also included fundraising in their orientation week. Applied Science frosh participated in an event called Go Nuts to raise money for the Kingston Rotary Club. Each year, the engineers raise $35,000 to $40,000 by selling nuts to the community during the week.

As for Shinerama, the program began as a shoe-shining campaign in 1964 at eight universities across Ontario, and has since evolved into a national event.

Today, Shinerama includes 55 Canadian universities and colleges and more than 35,000 student participants. The activities of the day have expanded to include washing cars, collecting bottles, picking up trash and selling raffle tickets.

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