Students at Saint Thomas High School in Pointe-Claire broke a provincial fundraising record this week, bringing in over $75,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation.
The school, like many others in Canada, has been raising funds for the foundation for cancer research for years.
“In Canada, the average school raises about $1,500, so that puts it in perspective what these students have pulled off,” said Peter Sheremeta, the organization’s provincial director.
Jason Mizrahi, a Grade 11 student who helped organize this year’s fundraising activities, said a former student is responsible for the school’s enthusiasm for the cause; Jennifer Martin graduated from Saint Thomas in 2005 and died from cancer shortly thereafter.
“It's just something that's become huge at our school, somewhat because of her, because she was one of the first students who helped plan our first Terry Fox walkathon and we kind of just look back at her, Jennifer Martin, and just reflect on why it's so important at our school,” Mizrahi said.
To reward students for their fundraising efforts, teachers allowed themselves to be "tortured" by students — one even let students put him in a snake pit.
“I think its a healthy combination of, you know, wanting to do something good, school pride, pride as a Canadian and wanting to do something for Terry Fox… and also the desire to get me into a tank of snakes,” said English teacher Phil Canuel.