“Your car is dirty. You should let us wash it,” read one sign outside of Lynden Park Mall Saturday where incoming first-years and O-Week icebreakers alike teamed up to clean cars for a cause.

Shinerama, a national fundraising campaign for Cystic Fibrosis Canada that began at Laurier in 1961, concluded its Laurier Brantford O-Week fundraising Saturday, after a week of various activities to raise money for the organization.

This year, Laurier Brantford students were able to raise just over $11,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

According to Jessica Buckles, an executive on the Orientation Week Team and a Shinerama executive, “Shinerama is a fundraiser which is usually based around washing cars, shining shoes, etcetera, and supports the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. It is important because Cystic Fibrosis is a disease affecting children and young adults.”

Laurier students and volunteers have held Shinerama events throughout the summer including the first annual slo-pitch tournament, barbecues, and an Orientation Week faux stag & doe for icebreakers. The big event, however, took place Saturday and was particularly special because it was an all-day event that involved the participation of most of Laurier’s first year students as they worked at spots across the city washing and shining cars.

Ross Fraser, Student Affairs Coordinator for Laurier Brantford, was in attendance on Saturday.

“To me, as a Laurier alumni, Shinerama is an integral part of the Laurier experience,” Fraser said. “The fact that our institutional orientation program includes an entire day devoted to community partnership and civic engagement is a point of pride for all members of the Laurier community.”

Shinerama is Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraiser as it involves students at almost 60 university and college campuses across the country.

When Shinerama began, Laurier was known as Waterloo Lutheran University. It started as an orientation week activity that raised money for local charities.

In the beginning, students would shine shoes to raise money – which is how the event’s name originated.

Laurier holds the 2003 Shinerama record for the raising the most money ever ($177,000) for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Cystic fibrosis is the most common deadly, inherited disease of young Canadians – primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system.

In Canada, one in 25 Canadians carries a defective version of the gene and one in 3,600 Canadian babies has cystic fibrosis. Since Shinerama began, the average age of survival for people with Cystic fibrosis has increased from three years old to 37 years old.

You can find more information at Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s website at cysticfibrosis.ca

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