A fundraiser run by Cambrian College students since 2007 — the Teddy Bear Picnic Auction — has raised $110,000 to date for pediatric cancer research funded by the Canadian Cancer Society.
The students hope to add to that total at the 12th annual event, which runs as part of Cambrian’s Fall Open House, Saturday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Teddy Bear Auction will begins at 11 a.m.
Students will be knocking on doors and meeting face-to-face with local businesses, community groups and the general public, asking them to purchase, decorate, and donate teddy bears to be auctioned off during the event.
The auction is run by the college's police foundations program with help from its early childhood education, child and youth worker and nursing programs.
Second-year police foundations student Austin Clark said he's looking forward to taking part in the event because he's from out of town, and wants to get more involved in the Greater Sudbury community.
As a “fun uncle,” Clark said he also likes the fact that the fundraiser helps kids.
“It raises a lot of money for pediatric cancer,” said Clark, speaking at the event's media launch Oct. 16.
“I think that's also a very good cause. Cancer affects everyone. You can't name someone that hasn't been affected by cancer.”
David Lalonde, co-ordinator of Cambrian’s police foundations program, said the fundraiser means a lot to everyone involved.
“Our students are giving their time and effort and truly experiencing the essence of volunteerism and community service,” he said, in a press release.
“Every year we do this, I see them all grow as young women and men and I know it will make them all better police officers.”
Sally Dunton, Sudbury and district community fundraising specialist with the Canadian Cancer Society, said this type of third-party fundraiser is great for the organization.
“Year after year, it's a new group of students who take on this project and this initiative,” she said.
“They're all amazing because they're not necessarily from Sudbury. They get to immerse themselves in the Sudbury community by knocking on those doors, and they're all go-getters.
“They do all the heavy lifting of this. We're just lucky to be the recipients.”
Research into the treatment of pediatric cancers has dramatically increased survival rates to 83 per cent, Dunton said.
“Research is what makes a difference,” she said. “We're always finding ways to diagnose, to treat. Research is key to being able to improve those survival rates.”
Admission and parking are free at the Nov. 9 Teddy Bear Picnic Auction.
Any individual or business interested in donating a teddy bear can contact Sally Dunton at 705-670-1234, ext. 3176 or firstname.lastname@example.org.