On Sept. 27, Concordians will make their way from Sir George Williams Campus to Loyola for the 24th year of the Shuffle walkathon.
The Shuffle is an annual event that raises money for student scholarships and bursaries.
“I’m skipping school for it this year,” said Melissa Lemieux, Legal Information Clinic assistant of the CSU. Lemieux was a member of the shuffle committee last year.
The Shuffle is organized by the Advancement and Alumni Relations office and volunteers. Participants include students, staff and faculty and this year’s motto is “Walk the Walk.”
Jang Kwon, manager of Concordia Administrative Systems, has been chair of the Shuffle for over two years.
“It’s satisfying thanks to having a committee of people with strong leadership character,” said Kwon regarding his position.
Pledging just $25 grants each participant a Shuffle kit which consists of a t-shirt, wristband, keychain, a Putting Edge coupon and the chance to win prizes.
“A lot of students say they don’t want to go to Shuffle because they don’t have the money, but it’s only a $25 pledge,” said Lemieux, who has received sponsorship each time she Shuffled.
Every dollar raised goes towards student scholarships and bursaries, since the prizes and food at the event are sponsored by outside companies.
Certain organizations propose challenge gifts and competitions for those who can raise the most funds. For instance, Concordia President Alan Shepard will donate $25 for each Shuffler from the President’s Executive Group.
One of the grand prizes this year is a choice of round-trip airfare to either New York, Chicago or Washington. Other prizes include iPod shuffles, iPads and $25 gift certificates to Tim Hortons and Starbucks.
Upon travelling 6.5 km to Loyola campus by either walking, running, biking or rollerblading, Shufflers will be able to feast at the President’s Picnic where the prizes will be claimed.
“It’s a great way to exercise and to socialize with other people,” said Lemieux.
Shuffle 23 broke the record for the most participants. “Last year it was a huge success, they did not expect that many people,” said Lemieux.
The walkathon raised just under $56,000, while the record for the most money raised in the history of the Shuffle was around $78,700 in 1996.
On the Shuffle committee last year, Lemieux made sure to get feedback from participants afterwards to determine how aspects of the walkathon could be improved for this year. She hopes they’ll follow suite for Shuffle 25.
“We are very much looking forward to celebrating the event’s 25th anniversary next year,” said Brad Skog, Director of Annual Giving of Concordia Advancement and Alumni Relations.
Lemieux has been promoting the event to other students. “I find this year they’re really lacking in their promotion, but I believe strongly in the cause so I don’t mind posting it up on Facebook,” she said.
“We can never promote the event enough,” said Kwon. “The annual challenge is to get the word out to everyone, especially the students. We are constantly looking for ways to spread the word to everyone in the Concordia community.”
The Concordia Shuffle was created when Robert Eschenasi, a development officer for the university in 1990, was given the task to come up with something to revitalize faculty and staff donations that would also promote goodwill.
“Eschenasi then formed a committee of faculty, staff, and students whose brainstorming came up with a walk between SGW campus and Loyola […] naming it the Concordia Shuffle,” said Kwon.
The Shuffle will kick off at 1 p.m. at the Atrium of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex.