Kildonan-East Collegiate graduates will play a major role in helping those afflicted with cystic fibrosis (CF).
Three graduates, Austin Coombes, Matthew Stewart, and Carah Campbell, are involved in the University of Manitoba’s Shinerama campaign as part of its 16-person committee. The campaign culminates on Sept. 11 this year with Shine Day, where students shine shoes for donations in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
Coombes, 19, served as last year’s first-year representative for the campaign, and earned a major promotion this time around.
"I guess they saw potential. I’m very enthusiastic, and they said ‘Why don’t you go lead this charity campaign?’" said Coombes, who serves as director with Dorian Rourke. "The more and more you learn about it, the more and more it grows on you, and you just want to help more people affected by CF."
Coombes’ interest in the campaign was cemented during a trip to London, Ont. this past spring where he met cystic fibrosis patient Tara, also 19.
"I’m the same age, and you have gone through a double-lung transplant just to stay alive — and I thought writing a paper was tough," he said. "Since there is no cure, it’s a constant battle at all times."
Coombes said all three Reivers come from different backgrounds. He was a three-time athlete of the year and actor, Stewart was a valedictorian, and Campbell was the former student council president.
Stewart and Campbell were part of Kildonan-East’s Tanzania 2010 trip, going over to Africa after raising money to build rainwater tanks in Karatu. Campbell said the Tanzania trip helped set her up for philanthropy.
"It was fundraising insanity," said Campbell, 20, who serves as the campaign’s marketing co-ordinator. "It taught me so much I needed for my university career, how I needed to budget time and how to communicate with businesses and people."
Stewart’s position is corporate relations manager, and he noted he’s a good fit for the role in part because of his experience at Kildonan-East.
"I had this passion for volunteering and helping other people," said Stewart, 20. "That started to build, especially leading up to the Tanzania project, with all the events we had. And going over there was just incredible."
There are several events in development to raise money for this year’s campaign, including a high society social on Aug. 24, and a golf tournament at Bridges Golf Course on Aug. 29. The group has already raised over $13,000 of its $50,000 goal through endeavours like collecting beer cans at the MTS Super-Spike volleyball tournament, a soccer tournament in East Kildonan, and selling merchandise at the Red River Ex and Osborne Village Canada Day celebration.
For more information on the campaign, visit http://www.umanitoba.ca/shinerama.