It’s not always the size of the donation cheque, but the effort that goes in to it.
The 370 students at Davie Jones elementary banded together to raise $4,541 for the 35th edition of the Terry Fox Run.
Principal Dennis Tjernagel said he’s worked at a lot of schools over the years and has never seen a response like this.
“It was pretty special,” said Tjernagel. “I’m very proud of the way our students and staff responded.”
He said two of the school’s staff members have been diagnosed with skin cancer over the past year and that reinforced the message that Terry Fox brought to his initial campaign.
One of those teachers, Helen Homer, was in charge of the fundraising activities and the principal said that brought the message to the forefront for the students.
“What Terry Fox was doing wasn’t just about raising money. He was raising awareness,” said Tjernagel. “Having a pair of teachers going through cancer treatment, that really hit home for the students.”
Tjernagel said the annual event also hits close to home for him. He grew up in Port Coquitlam and went to school with Terry Fox’s sister Judy. He said he still remembers the day she told him that her brother had cancer and recalls Fox running around the neighbourhoods after his recovery.
“I would get up on a Saturday morning, and he would be running as I ate my breakfast before I would go to soccer,” said Tjernagel. “I would come home, have a shower and be sitting in my front room relaxing and he would run by. It was pretty incredible.”
He hopes his students understand the significance of their contribution. He shared the stats with them surrounding the type of cancer that ultimately cost Terry Fox his life.
Today, between 70 to 80 per cent of the people who are diagnosed with osteosarcoma survive.
Fox was 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right leg in 1977. He had his limb amputated above the knee and then went on 16 months of chemotherapy, which was considered experimental at the time.
Tjernagel said the school held a assembly on Thursday to honour the hard work by the staff and the students.
The principal is even letting the students give him a pink Mohawk.
“We wanted to recognize their hard work and have a little fun at the same time.”
Grants for PACs
Parent advisory council’s raise funds to purchase items for schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and they are being supported by the provincial government with $295,000 in funds from gaming.
Victoria announced the funds this past week, and they will go to local PACs and the district parent advisory committee to help support student activities outside of the classroom and extracurricular activities.
The grants cover various costs, including sporting equipment, musical instruments, playground equipment and field trips.
The government recognizes that parent-run councils help ensure B.C.’s children have access to activities that ensure the development of a well-rounded educational background. Overall, nearly $11.1 million has been delivered to over 1,400 PACs and DPACs throughout British Columbia for the 2015-16 school year.
“As a teacher, I saw first-hand the hard work Parent Advisory Councils put in for providing further activities for students,” Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton said. “This funding helps PACs continue their invaluable work.”
The funding is through the provincial government’s community gaming grant programs.
Local PACs receive $20 per student, while DPACs receive a flat rate of $2,500. The grant funds must remain under the management and control of those that receive them. Funds cannot be used for, or transferred to, curricular purposes or to schools or school districts or their activities or programs.
The provincial government distributes $135 million annually in community gaming grants to benefit over 5,000 local organizations representing virtually every community in the province.