Wednesday, 14 June 2017 11:47

Teenagers still prove the future is in good hands

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“Kids these days can’t do nothin’. I wonder what this world is coming to.”


This kind of remark often gets a nod of approval from other adults, but it’s not true. Here’s a true story that proves the future is in good hands.
Grade 12 student Janise Michel and some of the students of Eastend School’s We Day Group raised an incredible amount of money for charity. You’ll be impressed when you find out how much the total was.
In March of 2016, Janise and other members of her We Day Group, a club where students take responsibility for improving one aspect of the community, visited Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Saskatoon. Located near University Hospital,
RMH features 34 rooms where families can stay when their children are undergoing treatment in the city.
Years ago, Janise’s father stayed there when she was born and a lot of her friends in southwest Saskatchewan have relatives who’ve been guests there, too.
For Janise, visiting the house was inspiring because she saw how it touched families.
The We Day Group consisted of two dozen students from grades 6 to 12 and they were motivated to fundraise for the RMH, but with only three months of school left they thought it better to start in September, 2016.
When this current school year got underway, the teenagers began planning what would become the Raising Hope Gala. It was held Jan. 27 in Eastend with 350 people in attendance.
To say the event surpassed the students’ fundraising goal would be an understatement.
Janise said the goal was to raise $30,000. Simply from the ticket sales the students could tell they’d reached that amount, but they didn’t know what the total would be until after the gala.
“We got some really good support from Eastend, Shaunavon and the surrounding area,” Janise explained.
The community of southwest Saskatchewan not only attended the gala in large numbers but donated a large variety of items to the gala’s silent auction.
The fundraiser received corporate donations, as well.
As they began to add the revenue from the silent auction, which included jewelry, a horse, tools, hockey memorabilia, combining service during harvest and more, the total kept climbing higher.
“It was wild,” recalled Janise while saying how the amount surpassed $35,000 then $40,000 and beyond.
The younger students had a hard time grasping how much money the gala raised in all. The final tally was an incredible $65,431.73.
Karen Linsley is in charge of fund development for RMH and she attended the gala.
“It blew my mind to see the generosity of the communities in the Southwest,” Linsley shared.
As for the students, Linsley described them as “very determined” and added they benefited from the support of the community because that gave them the confidence to pursue their goal.
For Janise, the fundraising experience taught her she’s good at public relations and advertising. It also shaped her career path.
After completing high school this year, the Grade 12 student will attend the University of Lethbridge and begin a five-year degree in new media and management.
The experience was also a way for Janise and her schoolmates to silence those who doubted them. She shared that many people in Eastend said kids couldn’t raise the $30,000 they intended.
“We proved them wrong.”
Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing. For more information about his speaking engagements, phone 306-661-8975 or visit www.canoetoneworleans.com.

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Dominique Liboiron

Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing.