On September 11, over one hundred students from Mt. A in matching white and blue shirts braved the heat in support of a meaningful cause. There was a buzz in the air. The day was warm and sunny; the nice kind that can easily become painful if you stay out in the sun too long. It had the makings for a perfect, peaceful day, but it turned out to be something more akin to a party. Cheers, car horns, and speakers rang out all across town, coming together as one wonderful, chaotic symphony. All of this for one reason: it was time for Shine Day.
Shine Day is the main event in Mt. A’s annual Shinerama campaign. “I wanted to participate in Shinerama because it is a cause that supports something near and dear to my heart,” said Olivia Nowe, Mt. A’s Shinerama Campaign Chair and second year modern languages, literatures, and cultures student. For Nowe, cystic fibrosis and the effect it has on the people who suffer from it is something she is all-too familiar with. “My brother, 24, and my sister, 20, were both diagnosed with CF at birth,” she explained. “I am the youngest of the three of us and I am fortunate to not have CF. It means a lot to me to be a part of this and help raise crucial funds that help support my loved ones.”
Shinerama is an organization that works with post-secondary schools in order to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that can cause lung damage and other complications that can lead to death. Mt. A has been participating in Shinerama for 46 years and has raised $700,000 dollars in that time.
The event is an integral part of student life at Mt. A, particularly during orientation. In fact, Nowe worked with the Orientation Chair and committee because of how close the two events are in the calendar. Shinerama was promoted throughout orientation this year with new students receiving t-shirts for the event on the first day they arrived. At the check-in fair for incoming students, Shinerama volunteers sat at a booth talking to students about the fundraiser and its purpose.
Orientation is where many students, including first-year aviation student Alexandra Morrson, first heard about Shinerama. Morrson, in contrast to Nowe, knew nothing about cystic fibrosis. However, Shinerama soon became meaningful to her after participating in the event and learning more. “Now that I’ve done it, and I’ve learned a little more about it, it means more to me and I definitely plan on doing it in the future… It’s a really really fun event where you can bond with people,” she said.
Despite the pandemic, students and community members alike came together in support of a meaningful cause. In addition to the attention that was raised in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Mt. A’s Shinerama campaign was able to raise over $8,000 dollars on Shine Day.