As of Shine Day, Sept. 9, Mount Allison’s Shinerama chapter was five hundred dollars short of surpassing their fundraising goal of $35,000.
Founded in 1964, Shinerama is the largest Canadian post-secondary fundraiser. Every year, students across the country raise money for the research of Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a fatal genetic disease affecting the lungs, digestive system and other bodily organs of children.
“Shinerama at Mt. A started in the 1970s,” said Mt. A’s 2017 Shine Coordinator, Izzy Spinney. “We’ve always been one of the best schools in Canada in terms of per capita fundraising.” In 2009 and 2011, Mt. A got the best overall campaign, with its most successful year of fundraising in 2011 with a total of $57,201.
However, in recent years, the University has fallen from its previous status of achievement. “The last couple of years we kind of took a little bit of a dip,” Spinney said. Since the huge accomplishment of 2011, fundraising amounts have dropped consistently. 2014 had the lowest amount fundraised at Mt. A since 2008, with a total of $24,842. This was far below previous years’ triumphs. In the two following years, fundraising amounts slowly climbed back up to around $33,000 each year.
This year, Mt. A is working toward its former status of heightened fundraising goals of $35,000, and Spinney had a large role in this success through increased online fundraising and new sponsorships.
Last year’s online fundraising only earned about $1,800, but this year’s total is much greater at about $12,000 so far. This change in fundraising played a role in the campaign’s overall progress. “Right now we’re at $34,500, so we’re almost at our goal,” said Spinney. She then gestured to a cash box beside her, saying, “This is T-shirt money that I haven’t counted [yet] so we’re probably at our goal [of $35,000].”
Spinney also got Charlottetown Metal Products Ltd. and Maritime Bus to sponsor $1,000 each to the Mt. A Shinerama chapter.
However, fundraising was not only accomplished through online fundraisers, T-shirt sales, sponsorship and Shine Day. Spinney encouraged all of her 140 site leaders to each raise $100 for the cause. “Obviously not all of them did, but we still made like $5,000 just [from] the site leaders,” she said.
Fundraising also took place throughout the summer, spearheaded by the work of the summer Shine Squad. Third-year science student Shen Molloy was part of this Squad in the official role of communications co-ordinator. “It was so fun [being here this summer]. Every week Izzy would have summer Shine Squad meetings for us and half of it would be events we were going to and half of it was information about [CF]…. I would highly recommend it to anyone who [is] staying this [coming] summer,” said Molloy.
“There are two different kinds of summer fundraisers,” said Spinney. “There are the smaller, repetitive ones like bottle drives, grocery bagging, [going to the market] and Captain Dan’s bar blitzes in Shediac that…make a steady amount…but not a huge amount of money unless you add them all together.”
There are also larger-scale fundraisers including open mic nights, pub crawls and a garden party and silent auction at Robert Campbell’s house. “[Campbell is] generous enough to donate the cost of the entire event so we don’t have any costs and everything we make is totally profit which is really huge [for fundraising],” said Spinney.
This fundraising is formulaic year to year. “We do a lot of the same fundraisers every year because it works,” said Spinney. She moved the second summer pub crawl to later in the summer so as to enable incoming students to attend. Spinney also moved the “Back to the Sack” end-of-summer party from the Pond to Club P due to summer renovations. Spinney found both of these changes to be financially beneficial.
Another one of Spinney’s goals for the summer was to raise awareness of summer fundraising in the greater community of Sackville. She said that when they do fundraisers in the summer like grocery bagging, community members would ask if it was Shine Day already. To combat this, Spinney wanted to reach out to the community more: “[I wanted to] let them know that [Shinerama fundraising] happens for four months instead of just one day.”
To achieve this, she implemented a family day in Bill Johnstone Memorial Park this summer. “It wasn’t hugely successful but it’s more about awareness,” she said.
The most profitable portion of fundraising, both this and every year, is Shine Day — a day when students come together at various sites to fundraise for CF research. Dedicated leaders at 42 sites in Moncton, Riverview, Shediac, Dieppe, Aulac, Amherst, Port Elgin and Sackville led to large levels of fundraising success.
“We made $13,778 on Shine Day which was really, really great!” Spinney said.
The Mt. A Shinerama campaign is not over yet. “We don’t end the campaign according to CF Canada until December, but for Mt. A it’s over [on] Sept. 30,” said Spinney. “We’re still doing online fundraising and residence fundraising.” There is also an Ascar awarded to the “Shiniest Residence” who performs the most fundraising by that date.
Fourth-year environmental science student Anna Jamieson was also involved in the Shine Squad as one of the Shine Co-ordinators this summer. “Being involved throughout the summer and during Shine Day is always a really rewarding experience and I would encourage everyone to get involved,” said Jamieson.
Spinney also encouraged involvement, saying, “I would like to see more volunteers because I think we always base success off of how much money we raise. But I think it would be cool to try to count the number of volunteers. It’s hard to keep track, but [it would be good to] try to improve that.”
The Shinerama team will be continuing fundraising by putting on a barbeque at the Sackville Pride Parade later this month and will also be doing face painting for Homecoming on Sept. 23.