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HomeNewsWeldon raises more money for Terry Fox this year than any other...

Weldon raises more money for Terry Fox this year than any other school in Canada

Photo Courtesy: Pam Koekebakker

By William McGinn/Intern

KAWARTHA LAKES-When 61 year old Norm Monfette passed away from cancer in July 2017 it set his son Brad on a journey to try to find a cure.

Brad Monfette is a teacher at I.E. Weldon Secondary School and now he has another title. The top fundraiser for the schools Terry Fox Event in the 2017/2018 school year.

Monfette raised 2,200 dollars in his fathers honour.  That donation helped push I.E. Weldon into the top spot in Canada.

When asked how his dad would have reacted Brad said, “He’d be pretty pumped. Dad was a big supporter of all things anyways. He always donated to the cause as well.  He’s a big supporter for everything we’ve always done and what the kids and his grandkids have done. He’s [also] not the only one in our family to pass from cancer.”

School officials confirmed today that I.E. Weldon Secondary School has donated the most money out of all the secondary schools in Canada for cancer research this year, at $68,831.21.

According to Leslie Armstrong, a phys-ed teacher and sharer of the Athletic Union (AU), this is the first time this has happened ever.

 

Weldon is a school that has been impacted by cancer in other ways over the years. French teacher Laura Nash-Watson has a newborn son. According to Angela Jones, school faculty, her son has been diagnosed with cancer and as a result she’s been on leave for the February-June semester to take care of him.

Back in 2013, the school’s goal was to raise $25,000 for Terry Fox. Five years later, the amount of money they donated has almost tripled.

Because of this success the school got a visit from Fred Fox, Terry’s brother, on Thursday.

“It was neat to hear his more private take on Terry’s endeavor. He talked about some of the struggles he had,” said Peter Downey, a phys-ed teacher who’s been at Weldon since 1995.

“He talked about his children, how they’re getting involved now and the next generation. It’s great to really see that family connection better.”

“He told a story we’ve all heard before, but coming [right] from the brother was really special,” said Monfette.

“It was emotional cause Terry’s been my hero since I was in high school,” said Armstrong. Armstrong has been teaching at Weldon since 1991 and has been on the Terry Fox committee since it was put in place at Weldon 17 years ago.

How the fundraiser worked this year is people were asked to donate $40 to be allowed to walk or run laps and participate in events the AU put up in Weldon’s back field. Students were only required to pay $20 if they already bought a T-shirt. It included an activity to make buttons, a barbecue and bake sale, a slip-and-slide, and bubble soccer.

“This is my third year on the AU,” said Haleigh Kimble-Mahoney, a Grade 12 Weldon student who helped put together the fundraiser. “In previous years, we’d always find new fundraisers and new ways to get money and get people out on the run, but this year we were really pushing for #1 on the province, [which meant] 75% student participation in fundraising in the actual event, and $55,000 as our third goal.”

“Last year we were the #2 [school] in Ontario,” said Armstrong, “and this year we wanted to beat our [prior] $53,000 so we settled for $55,000.”

When asked what she thought Weldon did to meet their goal and earn the #1 title, Kimble-Mahoney said, “This year [the Athletic Union came together and] said, “Oh, what can we have outside at the run that will get people out? So the bubble soccer and the slip and slide were [what we chose]. This year we advertised [the activities] more and it got people excited. Having new things this year really helped people get interested in coming out.”

All proceeds from food sales, bubble soccer, and the ability to participate went to cancer research.

“While we greatly celebrate in your success, the fight against cancer won’t be won by an individual, or a school; it’s a challenge that requires our collective awareness, efforts and compassion. The Terry Fox Foundation is so grateful to have I.E. Weldon’s support and that of over 9,000 schools across Canada,” says Lisa Armstrong from the Terry Fox Foundation.

Since Weldon’s first Terry Fox event, the Weldon Wildcats have raised approximately 440,000 dollars.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Tessa Smith graduated from IE Weldon. She did not, she went to Weldon for one year.  Her mother says she actually went on to 4 other schools/adult ed ctrs after her 1 yr at Weldon, before she found the right fit at PACE who helped & supported her like no other school had, to achieve her honours (92%) degree! Way to go Tessa!

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