As students whispered about secret admirers and Google sprinkled hearts over their search pages, the Student Activity Council (SAC) and Key Club were hard at work to bring Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute a joyful, rose-filled Valentine’s Day. Over the past year, MGCI’s clubs have hosted numerous successful events, and this time around, it did not disappoint. 

Preparations for 14 February began weeks earlier, when SAC transformed the cafeteria with pink garlands and giant hearts. SAC and Key Club also began outlining the details for a school-wide rose sale. For a week before the big day, students would be given the opportunity to purchase real red roses attached with a card for three dollars each, to be delivered in the morning class on Valentine’s Day. Not only would the clubs be able to bring some Valentine’s Day spirit to the school, but all funds raised would also be donated to Caring for Hearts Society.

Preparations for rose distributions

After hundreds of cards were printed, rose sales officially began. The sale started on the Monday before Valentine’s Day and ran from the 7th to the 11th at lunch in the cafeteria. Students flooded to the selling desk, scribbling down messages to their friends and depositing their money into an overflowing cash box. As sales gradually died down, club members sorted over 300 cards, counted cash, and located students’ classrooms. “It taught all of us a lot about running a project like this with so many moving parts,” Key Club President Sarah Li said when asked about how card sorting went. “We worked on it on both Friday and Monday, staying late and coming early, and in the end, it felt fulfilling to see it all come together.” Mr. Latchman, Key Club’s teacher supervisor, agreed to purchase the roses after school.

On Valentine’s Day, SAC and Key Club volunteers tied the roses and cards together before delivering each to its receiver during the first period of class. “I had a lot of fun visiting classes and wishing people a happy Valentine’s,” Key Club member Jessica Sun said after helping with the delivery.

“Coming early to school and working with so many wonderful teachers, administrators and students was really an energetic start to the week,” SAC Senior Spirit Convenor Zahra Ahmed added. “Again, even if we are moving a bit slower than expected, this event was a step forward for all of us to have that high school experience.” 

By the end of the event, SAC and Key Club had raised over a thousand dollars, of which the profits will be given to charity, and many students happily walked home with their delicate red roses. SAC President Lucy Qi reflected, “Rose distribution was a bit hectic, with some recipients not being at school and a mix-up of room numbers, but overall it was a really lovely experience for the student body. A lot of students were very touched by the love of their friends, and the roses virtually covered every inch of Garneau.”