The UCDSB virtual school goes online to support Relay for Life

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They are trying to make a difference everywhere.

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The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Virtual High School is among the local participants in this year’s edition of Relay For Life, the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual fundraiser. Unlike most of the participants who are from high schools, universities or specific geographic communities, the virtual UCDSB represents students and educators from several counties covered by the public board.

To connect with their community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while trying to raise awareness and earn money, the Relay For Life team at UCDSB virtual hosts daily live broadcasts on YouTube each day. day at noon this week.

Monday’s first effort lasted about 40 minutes. Each live broadcast will include an interactive game or challenge. On Monday, during a costume challenge, viewers had a few minutes to dress or dress their pets and submit photos via Instagram.

Live broadcasts include segments of survivors in which individuals share their experiences with the disease.

Retired educator Gordon Cooke was profiled on Monday, who spoke about being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer at age 64.

“Everything he said was wrong,” Cooke said of hearing the news over the phone.

He said it wasn’t until he stood in front of a big machine and lay down to start receiving follow-up radiation therapy that he realized, “Holy shit, this ‘is a big thing. “

Now, about halfway through a long hormone course. Cooke said he was feeling much better spiritually and his situation was manageable. He called Relay For Life a “celebration of the good things people do” by raising funds to help those whose health is at risk.

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Live broadcasts and associated videos can be viewed on the Relay For Life – UC Secondary Virtual School channel.

As of Friday morning, the school had raised over $ 2,920 of its goal of $ 10,000. The best individual fundraiser was Sara-Dawn Crites at around $ 945.

Sam Crosby, a UCDSB teacher who serves as a staff advisor for virtual school entry, praised the organizing team.

“I am absolutely delighted to be working alongside such inspiring young people,” said Crosby. “Our student ambassadors have been fantastic.

In a Relay For Life rally video released on Saturday, Emma Acres, a member of the UCDSB Virtual School team, said she was “relaying” for a family friend who died of cancer. She encouraged her comrades to register and get involved in the cause.

“You don’t just sign up for a momentous event, you also secure a brighter future for everyone who has been diagnosed with cancer,” said Acres, a grade 11 student whose homeschool is North Dundas.

As for other local youth-focused participants, Thousand Islands High School had passed $ 10,000 by Friday morning. The week of pirate activities, including an online auction, ends Friday.

St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Brockville is also participating in Relay For Life this spring and accepting contributions online. Mallory Kirkby, who was on Canada’s Top 20 list for individual fundraising in support of the 2020 Virtual Relay, is now on the Crusaders team.

Visitors to can view the lists of participating schools (including St. Mary’s, TISS and UCDSB virtual schools on the Ontario list), donate to a specific individual or school, and make a donation. register to support a school or general event.

The national Relay For Life livestream will take place on the evening of Saturday, June 12. The 2020 version – called Relay at Home – has raised more than $ 4 million, it was announced at the end of this livestream.

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Perry A. Thomasson