Over $40,000 was raised for student scholarship and bursary funds at the 21st annual Concordia Shuffle. Each year volunteers gather pledges for the 6.5 kilometre walk from the downtown Sir George Williams campus to the Loyola campus in Notre-Dame-de-Gr’ce. Around 80 participants reached out to between 400 and 500 friends, family and coworkers to sponsor them in this year’s Shuffle.
Despite the large faculty and staff turnout, the student presence was minimal during the walk with only a handful of students participating in the walk. “We wish there were more students participating,” said university president Judith Woodsworth, commenting on the lack of student involvement in this year’s Shuffle. “We have created 387 bursaries for students, so it would have been nice if they would have shown up.”
Not including this year’s event, the Concordia Shuffle has raised over $900,000 in its history and organizers hope that next year they will be able to break the $1 million mark.
Brad Skog, one of the organizers of and walkers in the Shuffle, hopes that in the future, the event will garner more student involvement. “We want to keep working on having more students participate,” said Skog. “In the past, students who have participated have really enjoyed it and we’ve really appreciated having them.”
During the walk, Shufflers were diverted across the street due to a fire in an unoccupied building on the corner of Prud’homme and Sherbrooke St. W. While most simply crossed the street and kept on walking towards their goal, some shufflers, like Bill Reimer of the Sociology and Anthropology department, chose to remain and watch. “It was worth missing part of the walk,” he said.
As an extra incentive this year, Shufflers names were automatically entered into raffles for the chance to win numerous prizes including airline tickets, overnight stays at hotels, an iPad and gift certificates. But most walkers, like Virginia Bahula, would have done the Shuffle either way. “It is just fun to do and you get to raise a bit of money for the students.” Bahula, from the office of the registrar, has done the walk many times in the past but this was the first year she brought her daughter along. Six-and-a-half-year-old Natasha Bahula said her favourite part was “the exercise.”
While some were content walking to Loyola, some veteran shufflers upped the challenge by jogging and running the 6.5 kilometres. Kevin Dobie”s second year, Jonathan Levinson’s fourth year, and Ellie Hummel’s 12th year participating in the shuffle were spent running the distance. The trio took just over 50 minutes to reach the finish line where they, along with all participants, were welcomed with a complimentary barbecue buffet.
While estimates placed funds raised this year at over $40,000, a final tally will not be confirmed until later on this week, as many departments pledged to match what their faculty and staff raised.