BETTER TOGETHER- Notre Dame students put together a team banner as part of their first challenge in their grad service project.

Notre Dame students aim to give back

Grads hosting event with funds going to local charity

Yesterday marked the kick off of École Secondaire Notre Dame High School’s grad service project.

The grad committee is responsible for putting together the event including choosing the charity that funds will go to.

“We chose KidSport this year because we wanted to do something that isn’t really well known but that was really deserving,” said Shelby Stark, student at Notre Dame and part of the grad committee.

Stark said they chose a group of charities and had them each present their reasons for wanting the funding, but KidSport was the clear choice for this year’s project.

“It funds kids from any age to 18 and helps them take part in activities and pays their registration,” said Stark.

Shannon Nivens, event coordinator at the school, said one of the most important aspects of the event is that the students pick the charity to donate to because they have to ask for pledges and raise the money themselves.

This year’s plan was to get teams together to take part in a bike-a-thon and raise pledges that would be donated to the charity.

“We do it to give back to the community because we are able to,” said Chelsey Weatherill, also part of the grad committee.

Weatherill said the project is mostly for the grad class but that all students are invited to take part.

Each team has a goal to raise $3,000 and Weatherill and Stark said they held a garage sale, which raised over $400 for their team.

Other teams are doing things like making Tim Horton’s runs for a minimum $5 donation and Stark said she has heard there may be a hot dog sale coming up as well.

“Teams are made up of 12 students and we have eight teams right now but we’re hoping for 14. Once you have your team it’s only $200 a person so it’s really not much,” said Weatherill.

Nivens said it is a very competitive group of students and that nobody will reveal how much money they have raised until the end.

“There is a prize for the team who raises the most so nobody wants to say how much they have.”

The grad service project in the past has donated to reputable charities in Central Alberta including the Ronald McDonald House. Nivens said the projects have been known to raise anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000.

“When kids graduate they look back if they weren’t involved and say they really wish they had,” said Nivens.

Weatherill said part of the motivation for the bike-a-thon was to be active and get the school involved.

“Sports and athletics are important. That’s why we chose KidSport. Sports give kids something to do and keep them out of trouble while meeting new people and growing,” said Weatherill.

The bike-a-thon started at 1 p.m. today at the school.

The students will bike for a total of 50 hours and team members are required to bike for one hour each at a time.

“We have movies and virtual bike tours and all kinds of stuff going on. We want the public to come cheer these kids on because it’s going to be a long night Thursday,” said Nivens.

The students will be with their teams in the gathering area and have been invited to decorate their ‘section’ however they would like.

Each team also has a teacher participant and Nivens said it is really neat to see the teachers interact with the students outside of class while supporting a good cause too.

“The fun part is the challenges. They don’t know what they’ll be doing they’ll just get an envelope with a task and have to go. There will be challenges all through the bike-a-thon too,” said Nivens.

For more information call Shannon Nivens at 403-342-4800 ext. 263394.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com