The students and staff at Westview School threw their hats in the ring in the fight against cancer Friday.
The school hosted the mini Relay for Life which is an annual event held at a different Estevan school each year. The event was a massive success as the students raised over $4,200 through various activities and fundraisers.
After kicking off around noon with opening ceremonies and the always emotional survivors’ walk, the event carried on throughout the afternoon. The day had many highlights including an opportunity for some students to toss a pie in the face of their teachers.
“I think it went really well, lots of kids participated and it was fun for everybody,” said Grade 8 student Mackenzie Ganje who co-chaired the relay with Dawson Nobiss.
“Every time we had a fundraiser, mostly everybody participated,” added Dawson. “It’s great to have a school that will support it.”
While teachers and local volunteers from the Canadian Cancer Society assist with the planning of the relay, the bulk of the work is done by the students themselves with an aim towards teaching them about volunteerism and getting involved in their community.
Mackenzie said in the lead up to the event, the students worked every day and held a number of meetings to get ready. She said the work was worth it.
“It’s just a great way to raise money for a great cause,” said Mackenzie who added that she has a personal connection to the event as her grandmother has had a number of battles with cancer but is “still going strong.”
Westview principal Cheri Haberstock said the entire week of events that were part of the relay made for an amazing week at the school.
“It was just such a whirlwind of activity and excitement right from day one,” said Haberstock who added the students deserve a lot of praise for the hard work they put into the relay.
“Our kids at Westview are so wonderful, and we are so proud of them. This was educational, fun and a leadership opportunity for our students. We are giving not only to our students, but we are giving to the community as well and to our world if we find a cure for cancer.”
Pat Steinke, who is the local youth co-ordinator for the cancer society, said she truly enjoyed the week she spent at Westview working with the students and staff. She noted one of the focuses of the week was the need to eat right and exercise.
Steinke said Westview welcomed her and the students from Team ECS with open arms and did a fantastic job hosting the mini-relay. More importantly, they learned about the power of volunteering for a good cause and were able to see first hand that they can make a difference.
“They learned that they are part of this community and they are the people that will make changes. They are the people that will decide their fate and will decide what kind of world they want to live in because they are the future,” she said.
“It shows the children how they are valued. It shows them that it doesn’t matter what size you are … you can make a difference; it’s all a matter of choices.”