CapU team raises $21,000 for charity house and student bursaries 

Tia Kutschera Fox, Contributor 
Photo by Rob Newell

 Faculty, staff and students of Capilano University participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge on June 23 this year. The Challenge involves registering with one of the official charities that Scotiabank supports and running a 5k. The CapU team raised a little over $21,000. Half of the amount went to the North Shore Neighbourhood House, a charity chosen by CapU as it aligns with the University’s values.  

The other $10,000 went directly towards Capilano University Bursaries. “Specifically the CapU Student Bursary, we are trying to get it up to $250,000,” explained Director of Alumni and Development Scott Blythe. Unlike scholarships which are mainly awarded based on academic achievement, bursaries are awarded to students who display financial need. “But we can only hit kind of on average about 30 per cent of that need, so every student gets help, but they only get help to a certain point because there’s only so much money coming in.” While the goal is to have the CapU Student Bursary fund at $250,000, it’s currently just over $100,000.  

Blythe told the Capilano Courier about selecting this event. “We chose this event because of the participation element of it that really allows people to raise funds in support of something they believe in, access their networks, and as we entered into our 50th it was really important that we had avenues in which to explore that… the goal was to increase pride.” 

This was the first year CapU took part in the event, but the plan is to continue participating in the future and work alongside students. “We always want to work in partnership with students wherever possible. Students are drivers in their own education and process, and while the primary purpose for the first year was a driver around pride and participation with faculty and staff we always look for those opportunities to engage students in more meaningful ways.”  

While the charity run occured on one day, the process of fundraising developed over a few months. Training started in April at CapU with a recruitment process to encourage people to come out. The fundraising ended in July, just a little after the event. “We had a goal to get 50 participants, we got 53 participants. So for first kick at the can people did really really well. And people don’t know how to do that so we did workshops, and we had lunch events, and so the community really came behind that.”  

Participants were given a goal of raising $500 each. “We wanted to make it into bite-size, and so we gave instructions on how to do that and we think next year we’ll see that continue to increase and some people are really successful, and some people were less successful, but it was more important that people are out there doing it.” While CapU does receive large donations from single donors, Blythe explained that this was not the point of this particular event. “It’s not about how much people give, it’s that they are giving, because we will get there… That’s when we start to see that difference. Because $5 matters. $10 matters.” 

For students interested in participating next year, Blythe’s advice is, “Don’t be afraid to ask people to support you… students will be surprised to see how many people are willing to support them. There’s a whole community of people that are behind students, and sometimes you see us, and sometimes you don’t, but I think it’s really fun – and you get really cool T-shirts as well!”

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