It’s time to shine… on Valentine’s Day

Shinerama took part in the romantic day by selling chocolate covered roses.  

They threw their first ever Valentine’s themed event on Feb. 12 and 13. Set up in the lobby of the Research and Academic Center west, they sold chocolate covered roses for their event, 65 Roses. 

Shinerama is a club on campus with it’s heart set on fundraising for cystic fibrosis. They have their annual car wash during orientation week, and they have few other events throughout the year. This year, however, Natalie Rigato, President of the Laurier Brantford club, and her team wanted to have a bigger presence on campus.  

The booth was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Monday and Tuesday. Organizers hoped they’d raise $100 between the two days, with approximately 40 to 60 people stopping by. 

Along with the chocolate covered roses, there were also wrist bands, sunglasses and screen protectors available for purchase, with all the money still going towards cystic fibrosis research.  

The campaign was originally named 65 Roses in 1965. A woman named Mary Weiss had three sons with cystic fibrosis and because of this, became a volunteer for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Her job was to call every club, service and social organization for funding to help in the research of cystic fibrosis.  

Her middle son, Richard, would listen to her make phone calls and one day the four-year-old walked up to his mother and said he knew who she was working for. 

Weiss asked who he thought she worked for and Richard said, “65 Roses.” 

Weiss thought this was amazing – Richard thought cystic fibrosis sounded like 65 roses. This then became the way cystic fibrosis was introduced to children.  

“We thought it’d be cool to do 65 Roses and tie it back to the 65 Roses story,” said Rigato.  

Shinerama was founded at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1961, which was then known as Waterloo Lutheran University, as a way for first-year students to give back to their communities and get involved on campus. Now Shinerama is present at about 55 universities across Canada. 

In 1964, Shinerama joined forces with the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so funding would go directly to research for the disease. The founders of the foundation are both from Brantford, and created it to help their two children, who both suffered with cystic fibrosis.  

Approximately one child out of 3600 is born with cystic fibrosis. It mostly affects the lungs but can also create trouble for the liver, pancreas and kidneys. There is no known cure, but Shineraa clubs all over the country plan to fix that. Since the campaign began, schools have raised $17.5 million. 

The Shinerama club here on campus intends to up that amount, little by little. 

They are also hosting a gala on March 23 at 10 p.m. This gala is not only to raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis, but to also show the community how far this club has come and how much more they are able to do during the year to help this cause.  

The gala will have dancing, music and will also have two speakers. The runner of Shinerama, Paul Enns, will be speaking as well as a little girl who suffers from cystic fibrosis, and her family. 

Rigato says as she gets more information on the gala, the more will be released to Laurier students to come support the cause.  

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