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‘Shuffle 34 is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and continue the cycle of support and growth that defines Concordia’

Meet some of the teams supporting students at the September 22 walkathon
September 18, 2023
By Sandra Evoughlian

Group photo of people at Shuffle 33 Concordia faculty and staff at the Shuffle 33 kickoff in the atrium of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex.

With Shuffle 34 just around the corner, the Concordia community is getting ready to carry on an annual tradition of walking, running and cycling to raise funds for students.

Faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends have together raised more than $2.7-million dollars for scholarships, bursaries and resources since the Shuffle launched in 1990.

On Friday, September 22, Concordians will once again trek the 6.5-kilometres between Sir George Williams Campus and Loyola Campus, where the President's Picnic awaits.

To amplify their efforts for specific causes, many Shufflers create teams. Hear from team members and captains of this year’s Shuffle to learn why they get involved:

Student in suit and tie stands with arms crossed “I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities I've received, and believe wholeheartedly in giving back," says Rudy Pejo.

Rudy Pejo, team member, Shuffle for Success!

Pejo, a human relations and psychology undergraduate, and co-president of the Filipino Organization of Concordia University Students, joins the Shuffle for the first time this year as part of the Student Success Centre’s team. The group raises funds for the Student Success Centre Achievement Scholarship, offered to those who demonstrate perseverance in the face of obstacles and have been readmitted to the university.

“Growing up in a financially disadvantaged family, I understand the importance of support, especially when it comes to education,” says Pejo. “I saw people in my close circle who couldn't afford to pursue their education, and this reinforced my commitment to making a difference.”

Pejo adds that the Concordia community helped him get to where he is today.

"I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities I've received, and believe wholeheartedly in giving back. This scholarship represents not only a financial lifeline for deserving students but also a chance to break the cycle of financial constraints that can hinder one’s educational pursuits.

Shuffle 34 is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and continue the cycle of support and growth that defines Concordia."

Three people wearing green t-shirts and glasses stand on sidewalk Kathleen Perry, centre, Shuffles with The Pace Makers in 2022.

Kathleen Perry, captain, The Pace Makers

Champion Shuffler Kathleen Perry has taken part in many of Concordia’s Shuffle fundraisers throughout the years. More recently, she’s led the The Pace Makers team for the past two years. Perry also participates in events hosted by the Zumbaholics team to reach even more donors — including one earlier in September.

“The Shuffle is a great start to a new academic year and a fantastic way to support students,” says Perry. “The Concordia University Retired Faculty and Staff Scholarships and Awards Endowment gives out $36,000 in scholarships and bursaries each year. Our team’s donations grow that endowment. It’s vital that we cultivate these resources because costs for students continue to rise, and we can help them together as a community.”

Group of people wearing orange shirts Susie Wileman and Hilary Rose, left, walk with Team Orange Shirt at Shuffle 33.

Steve Henle, BA 92, and Susie Wileman, BA 88, co-captains, Team Orange Shirt

With roots dating back to 2016, Team Orange Shirt officially formed in 2017 through the efforts of Hilary Rose, now retired associate professor of Applied Human Sciences (AHSC), and her department colleagues. All funds raised go to their Orange Shirt Bursary, which supports Indigenous students in their final year of studies.

The team is now led by Steve Henle, senior lecturer and internship coordinator, and Susie Wileman, a part-time faculty member. This year, Rosemary Reilly, professor and chair of the department, has pledged to donate a dollar for every student, staff and faculty member who joins Team Orange Shirt and shuffles.

“In our discussions, we learned that there is a funding gap for Indigenous students. It’s important that we help all students achieve their goals and complete their degrees,” says Henle. “The bursary is one step in closing the gap and addressing financial hurdles. Being a founding member of Team Orange Shirt is also a way in which I can contribute to truth and reconciliation. Each year, we succeeded in raising $3,000. Our 2023 goal has not changed. Please help us reach our goal and walk with us!”

Adds Wileman: “I’ve participated in the Shuffle for many years. Sometimes I run the distance, sometimes I walk it, and other times, I do both. The point is, I get there.

“When I learned about AHSC’s Orange Shirt Team, I was proud to join colleagues Hilary, Steve and Shannon Hebblethwaite, among others, to raise money for the Orange Shirt Bursary. I feel that we have a lot to be thankful for, working in an environment such as Concordia, where we can try to make a difference.”


Shuffle with us on September 22. Sign up as an individual or join a team.

Did you know? The Shuffle is now a Silver certified sustainable event. To celebrate, the President's Picnic will feature sustainable and locally sourced food options in compostable packaging. Don’t forget your reusable water bottle!

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