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Students rekindle school spirit for Oak Bay High cancer fundraising

Communty events for Canadian Cancer Society kick off Saturday
Grade 12 students Ariel Fischer, left, Alizagada Tang, Jenny Lambert, Lili Spencer and Lena Dietsch lead this year’s Cops for Cancer fundraising at Oak Bay High. (Courtesy Oak Bay High)

A group of Oak Bay High students looks to rekindle the flames of fundraising to support kids and families facing a cancer diagnosis.

The school traditionally boasts an impressive fundraiser – from the student body and community-at-large – for the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

The campaign is led this year by a team of five Grade 12 students – Alizagada Tang, Lili Spencer, Ariel Fischer, Jenny Lambert and Lena Dietsch.

While many teachers participate, Koji Zolbrod leads the team.

“We also have quite a few event leaders and then all the other student volunteers at our school,” Dietsch explained.

She got involved two years ago alongside Fischer and Lambert and enjoyed the activity and meeting new people so much, all three have participated in nearly every Cops for Cancer event since.

“All five of us are extremely involved in our school clubs and activities so volunteering to lead this event was a no-brainer. … It is a great way to kick off the school year and we are so lucky that we get the opportunity to raise money for such a great cause and give back to our community,” she said.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High raises over $34,000 to send 18 kids facing cancer to camp

The campaign officially launched Sept. 6 with a school-wide meeting to rouse interest. Community events kick off this weekend with a car wash Saturday, Sept. 9 in the school’s front parking lot (off Cadboro Bay Road) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The annual garage sale is Saturday, Sept. 16 in the small gym at the school. Residents can drop off sale item donations the Friday before from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A silent auction runs through Sept. 21, wrapping on the Oak Bay High parent-teacher night.

The students also host a bottle drive Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school parking lot off Cranmore Road.

Students plan to canvas residents of the community through September, and finish the fundraising with a lunchtime head shave event on Sept. 27.

READ ALSO: Cops for Cancer Island team features 5 West Shore RCMP, 2 Saanich, 1 military member

The annual events raise funds for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, a Vancouver Island cycling event that raises money for children battling cancer.

In keeping with Oak Bay High tradition, the goal of the committee is to send as many kids to Camp Goodtimes as possible. Last year, the school and community raised more than $34,000 – enough to send 18 kids to camp. In past years they’ve nearly tripled that number.

“We want to get many people involved and rekindle some of the school spirit that we lost during COVID. For example, the head shave used to be a huge event where people would cut or shave their hair, shave their legs, throw pies in people’s faces. … We are hoping to change this by making the events fun and interactive as well as creating rewards for those who shave their heads,” Dietsch said.

“We want everyone to have fun and get involved because this fundraiser is such a great place to make friends, especially for those new at the school.”

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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