Hope secondary school (HSS) may be on the smaller side, but it’s a powerhouse when it come to raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation.
HSS raised $6,100 in 2021. That total was surpassed by just four other high schools in the entire province.
“We wish your entire school community heartfelt congratulations for this extraordinary achievement,” said Kirsten Fox, Terry Fox Foundation School Development Officer for B.C. and the Yukon, in a letter to HSS. “The staff, students and families of Hope secondary truly embody Terry’s sentiments when he said, ‘Being self centered is not the way to live. The answer is try to help others.’
“Despite the enormous challenges you face in these continued uncertain times, it is remarkable how nothing, not even a pandemic, can dim your determination to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.”
Lenora Poulin, who is the Leadership Advisor at Hope Secondary, said the school has a track record of coming up big in Terry Fox fundraising, although it had diminished in recent years.
“On average we donated between $500 and $1,000,” Poulin said. “This charity is very important to me personally, so this year I challenged my leadership class, and basically the whole school, that if they brought in $5,000 I would cut my hair as short as my teaching partner’s.”
Poulin works alongside Erin Wilkins, whose hair she jokingly described as Sinead O’Connoresque.
Poulin described her own locks as long and curly, or they were until Cathy Hayes from Hair Trends cut her hair in the HSS gym in front of students at lunch.
“Thanks to some amazing efforts from students standing outside Buy-Low and Save-On-Foods, and many larger donations from a couple of my friends and many of my colleagues, we raised well over the $5,000 and I now have very short hair,” Poulin said. “Well, it has grown quite a bit since we cut it at the beginning of October, but it is still very short.”
The letter from Kirsten Fox arrived March 9. Poulin said it was super exciting, and hopefully creates momentum to keep their fundraising near this level for the next few years.
“We are so grateful to everyone at Hope secondary for their unwavering support,” Fox wrote in her letter. “It is because of you that we are able to invest in the best cancer research in the country and give thousands of Canadians the gift of Hope.”
The only high schools ahead of HSS were Vancouver’s St. George’s School, which raised a whopping $11,720.75 along with Courtenay’s Mark Isfeld secondary ($9014.67), Coquitlam’s Centennial secondary ($8,869.50) and Surrey’s Fraser Heights secondary ($6,447.63).
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