Shuffle shatters target: pulls in more than $130,000
That’s the way Concordia’s interim president and vice-chancellor, Graham Carr, sums up the 30th edition of the annual Shuffle walk-a-thon, which raised more than $130,000 for student bursaries and scholarships, shattering not only the $115,000 target, but also last year’s $114,000 record.
Since 1990, the Shuffle has now raised more than $1.7 million for student aid in an event that is not only a fundraiser, but a physical link between Concordia’s two campuses — a 6.5-kilometre walk from the Sir George Williams campus downtown to Loyola in N.D.G.
The September 27, 2019, event was, Carr told the crowd at the President’s Picnic next to the Loyola athletic field, “the biggest, the best Shuffle. It’s a fantastic day.”
Weather conditions were ideal, in contrast to the previous day’s gloom and showers.
Pumped up by energetic emcee CTV Montreal News broadcaster Caroline Van Vlaardingen, BA 84, more than 700 Shufflers in nearly 50 teams raised the record-breaking total through nearly 2,000 donations. One difference this year was the creation of a special team that joined the massive climate-change march on the same day. That 70-member team raised at least $6,100, creating a strong Concordia presence in a march that organizers said numbered half a million people.
“It’s phenomenal,” Carr says of this year’s Shuffle. “And it’s coming from inside the university, so it shows how much people really care.” He offers “huge thanks” to all those who helped organize this year’s event.
Paul Chesser, BA 94 and GrDip 97, vice-president, Advancement, noted in his remarks to the picnic crowd that he had participated in the first Shuffle. He announced that the “Shuffler of the Year” award was given to Virginia Gerald, receptionist in University Advancement, who raised more than $1,400 to this year’s cause.
The Shuffle Team of the Year came from Concordia’s Sexual Assault Resource Centre, which raised $12,000.
Former Stingers women’s hockey coach Les Lawton, who suffered a stroke in 2015, walked in the march again and raised $9,535, the biggest single amount raised by an individual.
This year’s Shuffle honoured former Biology professor Dr. Bob Roy, who died in June 2019. His family raised $11,375 for a student award named in his honour.