Rake-a-thon raises money for Children’s Wish Foundation

By Dale Johnson Posted: November 14, 2016 6:00 a.m.

These are just some of the 60 U of R students who took part in the rake-a-thon.
These are just some of the 60 U of R students who took part in the rake-a-thon. Photo: Student Success Centre

As the snowy weather approaches the prairies, it’s time to get ready for the change of seasons. And University of Regina students are helping homeowners prepare – while helping a local charity for children.

For the second straight year, U of R students took part in the rake-a-thon in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation. They raked leaves at the homes of U of R alumni in exchange for donations.  

“It was indeed a pleasure to be able to contribute to the Children's Wish Foundation through the rake-a-thon. The students who participated and raked my huge yard of wet soggy leaves did an excellent job,” says Fyola Lorenzen, who received her psychology degree from U of R and was a professor in kinesiology for 35 years.

The event is organized jointly by the Student Success Centre and U of R Alumni Relations.

“The annual rake-a-thon is an excellent example of how U of R students are eager to make a difference in our broader community,” says Kevin Bolen, U of R Director of Student Success.

“It’s not only an opportunity to develop teamwork skills, but furthermore it develops a generosity of spirit among the team that will serve them well in their future endeavors,” he adds.  

Since the first rake-a-thon in October 2015, the event has raised more than $7,000 – and every dollar goes towards facilitating a wish for a child in Saskatchewan with a life-threatening medical condition.
This year’s rake-a-thon featured even more student volunteers – 60 in total – and more interest from alumni homeowners.

“This was a terrific initiative for a great cause. The student volunteers who came to my house were polite and enthusiastic – great ambassadors for the University,” says alumni Mike Embury, now deputy director of instruction and school operations at Prairie Valley School Division.

This year, the students also included a bag removal service. Environmentally-friendly paper bags were picked up and dropped off at one of the City of Regina’s four Leaf and Yard Waste Program Depots, where the contents will be turned into nutrient-rich compost, which stimulates healthy plant growth. For those who did not participate in the bag removal service, flyers promoting the program were provided to create program awareness.

“Having the bags removed and recycled through the City of Regina’s compost program was an excellent addition to last year's service. It is nice to know that all this hard work and positive energy is helping out a very worthy cause,” Lorenzen adds.

"This opportunity was unique in that it allowed us to witness first hand what university students, past and present, are made of - passion, determination and kindness," say Olivia Arnal and Jamie Prisciak, student co-ordinators of the event.     

Organizers say the rake-a-thon would not have been possible without the support of corporate sponsors - Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Home Depot and Pizza Pizza.