In spite of the chilly rain, students, alumni, faculty and staff gathered downtown at the EV building last Friday for Concordia’s 17th annual Shuffle to raise money for bursaries and scholarships.
Chairman of the Shuffle Murray Sang said shufflers were sponsored by friends and family to raise anywhere between $25 and $2,000.
“Some get really ambitious,” he said with a chuckle.
Nearly $700,000 has been raised since the first shuffle in 1990. “Last year, we brought in about $50,000,” said Sang, who wanted this year’s event to match that amount.
Aside from being a fundraising event, the Shuffle is also a walk from the SGW campus to Loyola, a 6.5 km distance.
“One of the great incentives that gets people to walk is that they can win great prizes,” said Sang.
Prizes include trips to Paris, New York and Calgary as well as PC Notebooks and digital cameras.
This year’s new sponsor, TD Canada Trust, donated iPod Shuffles for the prize draw.
“We give away iPod Shuffles every summer [as a promotion for new TD clients], and Concordia has an event called the Shuffle – there’s a natural link!” said Paul Clark, a TD Trust representative.
TD Trust has been “trying to find ways to solidify [its] links with the university,” said Clark who pointed out the branch across the street from the EV building. They donated over $1,000 in water bottles for shufflers.
The Omni Hotel is another new sponsor this year.
“Education is the priority in life,” said Lori McGrath, an Omni Hotel employee who is also a former Concordia student.
“It’s a great school,” she said with a radiant smile, one that could not even be wiped off by the dreary weather. Omni Hotel employees raised $125 for the cause and the hotel donated a gift certificate for two at the hotel, with breakfast included.
But the Shuffle wasn’t about prize winning for everybody.
“I’m here to lose weight!” said a slim Peter Schiefke, a fourth year Concordia student who joked about getting some exercise while helping students.
Police officers John Parker and Eric Charbonneau donated their time and expertise by blocking traffic to secure the streets. This
was Parker’s ninth shuffle, and Charbonneau’s first.
“It’s this whole grouping of people, all coming together for one cause, one same objective,” said Charbonneau.
Before leaving the EV building, Concordia President Claude Lajeunesse asked participants to think of Leslie Markofsky as they walk passed Dawson College. The JMSB student was injured during the Dawson shootings and remains in a coma at the Montreal General Hospital.