Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 10:30 a.m., May 4)
Cairine Wilson 'Relay for Life' blows fundraising goal out of the water

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the Dream Team, including Megan Bryson (bottom row, second from the right) raised over $7,900 during Carine Wilson's Relay for Life.. Fred Sherwn/Photo

Before students at Cairine Wilson Secondary School started fundraising for the school's annual Relay for Life event, the organizers were hoping to beat last year's total of $61,000 a one or two thousand dollars.

But thanks to the efforts of the students, and especially the graduating class, they not only topped last year's total, they blew it clean out of the water, raising over $71,750 in the continuing fight against cancer.

Leading the way in the fundriaising department for the fourth straight year was a group of Grade 12 students known as the Dream Team who raised over $7,900, $2,900 of which was raised by team leader Megan Bryson who shocked even herself by doubling the amount she raised last year.

"This is my last year at Cairine so I wanted to go out on a high. My family helped out a lot, they really came through for me," said Bryson who had an additional motive in raising the amount she did. "There was a Grade 9 student who was pretty close to me and I wasn't going to let a Grade 9 beat me."

More than 450 students took part in this year's Relay which was held at the Navan Farigrounds on Friday. Another 50 students joined in from Sacred Heart High School, which wants to organize a similar event next year, and a group of Grade 5-8 students from nearby Heritage School raised $245 selling luminarias.

For Bryson, who is graduating in June, this year's Relay was very emotional.

"I'm probably going to cry on the last lap," admitted Bryson, who has personally raised nearly $6,000 during her four years at the school. "Of all the things I'm involved in at Carine, this has always been my favourite event."

Bryson's motivation in raising money for the Relay goes far beyond the social and philanthropic aspect of the event. Her father died of cancer when she was just seven years old and two of her grandparents died from the disease.

As in years past, the Relay was kicked off with an opening lap led by cancer survivors and those who are still going through treatment. The ceremonial lap gives the survivors a chance to thank the students and remind them why they're doing what they're doing. And with peers like Bryson and the rest of this year's graduating class showing the way and acting as an example to the younger students, the event is in good hands for years to come.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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