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Historic virtual Shuffle raises $135,000

Concordia’s annual walkathon supports student scholarships, bursaries and services
October 26, 2020
By Joseph Leger, BA 15

More than 530 Shufflers — many of them faculty and staff — raised an impressive $135,000 in Concordia’s first virtual walkathon.

The annual fundraiser’s 31-year total now stands at more than $1.8 million.

“From the very start of the pandemic, our community has demonstrated incredible strength and resilience and Shuffle is no exception,” says Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice-president, Advancement.

“The outpouring of support we’ve received from Concordians to help our students has been incredible. Thank you to everyone who helped make this year such a success!”

With COVID-19 still a concern, Shuffle 31 was held virtually from September 18 to 25. Opening and closing ceremonies were broadcast on the Zoom platform.

To limit in-person interactions and inspire sustainable practices, Shufflers were asked to reuse T-shirts from past Shuffles to show school pride or use resources from a downloadable “Virtual Shuffle Kit” to create their own.

Participants were encouraged to share photos and videos of themselves walking, running or cycling in their neighbourhoods, with prizes awarded for the best social media posts and DIY shirts.

Two Shufflers of the Year were announced at the closing ceremony on September 25.

The first award went to former Stingers women’s hockey coach, Les Lawton. The future Concordia Sports Hall of Famer raised a whopping $13,940 — the largest individual total — to support women hockey players at Concordia.

Lawton suffered a stroke in 2015 that ended his career as a coach and affected his speech and mobility. The recipient of Concordia’s Outstanding Staff Award in 2016 has since relied on a walker or cane for past events but managed to walk 100 kilometres unassisted throughout the week of Shuffle 31.

Annie Gérin, the new dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, was the second Shuffler of the Year. Gérin personally raised $2,025 and helped mobilize support across the faculty.

Shuffle Team of the Year honours went to CU at the Top, a 54-member team that raised $20,820 for Concordia’s Black Perspectives Office (BPO) — an initiative that supports and elevates Black voices at the university and beyond.

Shuffle funds raised by CU at the Top will primarily support BPO’s Black Mental Wellness on Campus project.

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