By RYAN HORNE
First-year recreation and leisure services students are doing their part in the never-ending battle against cancer and they’re having fun in the process.
A fundraiser — dubbed Open Mic for Andy’s Fight — was held in the Sanctuary on Dec. 1. Andy is Andy Houston, a family friend of a student in the class, Cara Smith, who was in desperate need of some help over the Christmas season. Houston is a police officer who was diagnosed with small intestine cancer and is now unable to work. With a stay-at-home wife and three kids all under the age of four, his fight against cancer will be all the more difficult especially on the financial side. So Smith and the rest of the recreation and leisure services students stepped in to do what they could to help their friend.
The $1,191 raised for the Houston family at the fundraiser was a huge success according to Smith.
“The money is going straight to his family so they can use it for whatever they want,” she said.
Students came up with the fundraising idea in their dynamics of leadership class, deciding to combine a silent auction with the open mic to create one elaborate fundraiser.
“We had to stand up in front of our class and tell what our groups were doing,” said Smith. “We decided to combine them. Now there are 18 or 19 of us that have come together and made this event happen.”
The open mic portion gave Conestoga students the chance to display their musical talents. Smith took part, performing an original piece, and Sam Schwier and Brendan Hancock sang a duet of Kid Rock’s classic, I Put Your Picture Away.
The headlining act came from local up-and-coming artist, Scotty James. James used to serenade people at their front door to pay the bills, but now he’s ascending Canada’s Billboard Charts with his hit single Wanna Be Loved.
At the silent auction, students could bid on such items as perfume, watches, stuffed animals, pillows, a signed Kitchener Rangers jersey and all the Tim Hortons’ merchandise you could ever imagine.
A raffle draw for Ranger tickets also raised money and a spontaneous flash mob performed by the students entertained the audience in the Sanctuary.
Recreation and leisure services students kept the Christmas spirit going throughout December. Events such as Gowns for Grads, Bowling for Dollars and The Amazing Race @ Conestoga all strove to help less fortunate individuals in the community during the Christmas season.