On 25 April from 8 am to 8 pm, about twenty five students fought for life for twelve hours at MGCI. This fundraiser, called Relay for Life, was hosted by the MGCI Canadian Cancer Society. All students pre-registered for $15 and received a t-shirt, luminary bag, and dinner – along with various activities throughout the day.


Students created luminary bags for the Luminary Ceremony.
Photo: Jenna Wong

All executives of Canadian Cancer Society clubs throughout the TDSB visited Coburg on 25 February for a seminar from which they received information, tips, and criteria on hosting this event. Every school, however, used creative freedom to host it differently to better suit everybody’s desire.

The first six hours took place outdoors, where students played a variety of sports and enjoyed loud music despite the windy weather. At lunch, club executives spoke to the student body in the cafeteria using the sound booth. They provided more information on this event and where the money is going other than for funding research.

After 2 pm the event took place indoors. Students were instructed to design a luminary bag, enjoyed sports, and then watched a movie called 50/50 in which the protagonist is diagnosed with cancer. After a dinner of sandwiches, fruit salad, and cupcakes which were prepared by the Culinary Arts classes, all participants were asked to line up in the cafeteria – for a reason yet unknown.

This activity was a crowd favourite. The Luminary Ceremony had the farther part of the gym blacked out while battery-run candles illuminated a path for the students to walk through. In the centre laid all the luminary bags with candles inside. All luminary bags spoke stories and experiences of cancer and cancer survival or had encouraging messages written on them. The Luminary Ceremony was “unexpected. [Everybody got to] see how cancer affected our peers”, said a Grade 9 participant.

The next activity gave all participants the chance to write a letter to a child with cancer. These letters would be scanned and sent to patients at Sick Kids Hospital. Grade 10 student Kate Zhao said that “it reminds us that there are kids out there with cancer. It reminds us that they’re who we’re fighting for.”

Then, everybody got a chance to pop balloons on a wall, some of which spelled ‘C-A-N-C-E-R’, as an encouragement that “we can fight cancer”. After more sports, a speech was given by the event chair and Grade 11 student Henry He at around 7:45pm before the end of the event.

The MGCI Canadian Cancer Society planned this event for two months. Previously, they participated in a bake sale and helped out with the school’s annual Terry Fox Walk. Relay for Life is their major event of the year.

Throughout all periods of the day, the club sold samosas and pancakes with the help of Student Council. This also promoted the involvement and participation of the general student body. Mr. Presaud’s BSAP classes helped set up for the outdoor events in the morning. All teachers that helped were very supportive.

The MGCI Cancer Society would like to especially thank Mr. Sharp, Ms. Paveling, Mr. Persaud, and Ms. Goldenberg for all of their support.

Relay for Life was a successful, inspirational and themed event that managed to raise approximately $700 that will be used for research, support systems, and financial aid for treatments. Profit from Student Council’s Spring Fling will also be donated to Relay for Life.