Students shine shoes for good cause
by Chelsea Temple-Jones
The University of Regina Student’s Union (URSU) annually participates in Shinerama. This year, by request of the URSU, the U of R’s participation in the Shinerama campaign received official recognition from Regina Mayor, Pat Fiacco.
“We get a lot of organizations that are doing great things out there that need some extra attention,” says Fiacco, “I think that anytime we have a worthy cause it is important to promote it.”
The Mayor issued a proclamation that officially declared September 25 Shine Day, asking the citizens of Regina to recognize the day. Shine Day is a small part of the overall campaign as student volunteers spend a day shining shoes in different locations around the city, with all funds going directly to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
This year, Shine Day brought out as many as 40 volunteers from all parts of the University to shine shoes, including the Fine Arts programs and sports teams.
“It’s definitely nice to see different people working together for the same cause,” says Tara Prystay, URSU vice-president of student affairs.
Canada’s second largest post-secondary fundraiser, Shinerama helps raise money for research into Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a fatal disease that affects the digestive system and lungs.
Within the past 40 years, Shinerama campaigns across the country have raised nearly $15 million for the Canadian CF Foundation. The funds raised by the URSU during last summer’s Shinerama campaign went towards research into controlling CF, support for treatment programs at the Regina CF clinic, and lung transplant research.
Ralph Leibel, a parent of two children living with CF, says he appreciates the University’s support in the search for a cure.
“I know that the commitment and support of the students raising research funds over the years has given [my children] a chance for a longer life,” he says. “It is through [student’s] efforts that additional awareness and support for CF is raised here in Regina.”
Prystay says that by having the Mayor get involved, the URSU and the university can be promoted for their charitable work more successfully. She is hoping that the URSU will someday have enough funds to hire a Shinerama coordinator to take on organizational responsibilities, including advertising.
For now, however, Fiacco says he is more than happy to promote Shine Day.
“First of all,” he says, “Shine Day allows [URSU] and students of the University to participate in fundraising for a needy cause, and it shows the rest of the community that although students are busy with their studies, they do contribute to the community.”