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Meet two veteran Shuffle walkathon fundraisers

Co-chairs Lisa Ostiguy and Roger Côté share their experience — and pride — on the community builder
August 14, 2018
By Molly Hamilton

“I always saw the Shuffle as a great opportunity — a way to leave behind our daily roles and come together as a community to show our support and pride in the university. And, very importantly, to show that students and their success are important to all of us — independently of what we do at the university,” says Roger Côté, vice president of Services and a veteran of Concordia’s Shuffle walkathon.

Lisa Ostiguy Lisa Ostiguy is greeted by Concordia Stingers upon arriving at Loyola Campus at Shuffle 28.

Each fall, the Concordia community gathers for the 6.5 km Shuffle walkathon.

Hundreds of Shufflers walk from Concordia’s Sir George Williams Campus to the Loyola Campus and raise funds for student bursaries and scholarships — nearly $1.5 million since 1990.

This year, Côté lends his support to the Shuffle as a co-chair, together with Lisa Ostiguy, special advisor to the Provost on Campus Life, helping promote the fundraiser to the university community.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to support this great cause,” says Côté. At the inaugural Shuffle, 29 years ago, he was involved behind the scenes as director of the Financial Aid and Awards office. “One of our roles in the Financial Aid and Awards office was to help determine how Shuffle proceeds would be used to help students.”

Encouraging more Shufflers

Ostiguy has been Shuffling for more than 25 years. “I got involved in the Shuffle when I first started working at Concordia and I’ve been shuffling every year since.

Roger Côté “The Shuffle is an excellent opportunity to support this great cause,” says Roger Côté.

“As co-chairs we’re trying to see how many different ways we can raise awareness of the Shuffle. We’re also looking at different approaches to raise additional funds to support our students,” says Ostiguy.

She hopes to encourage more students to participate by making a challenge gift. For every student who participates, she has pledged to give an extra $2 to the cause. “The more students who walk, the better it is for raising awareness and funds to support students — and the more money I’ll have to donate,” she says.  

Challenge gifts offer an incentive to motivate others to participate in the Shuffle. People can pledge to donate a dollar amount for each person from a specific cohort who registers to walk. In 2017, $6,000 were raised through challenge gifts alone, bringing the year’s Shuffle total to $110,000.

Supporting our students

“It’s always important for as many people as possible to get involved in supporting students,” Ostiguy says. “Shuffle is an excellent way for groups to come together while promoting the idea of health and wellness by having a physical activity as a community event.”

Besides the main goal of raising critical funds for students, Shuffle is an opportunity for the Concordia community to mingle and meet new people, colleagues or classmates.

“What probably resonates the most with me are the very interesting conversations I’ve had over the years with fellow Shufflers as we made our way over to Loyola. Having the time to chat about things other than work issues — finding out about their personal lives, families, hobbies — made me appreciate how rich the Concordia community is,” says Côté.

He adds, “If there’s anything I can do for nice weather on September 28, I’ll do that — but rain or shine, we’ll be there!”

Shuffle is organized by Advancement and Alumni Relations and a volunteer advisory committee.

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