The students lined up by grade to throw a ball at the Grade 5/6 teacher who organized the fundraising campaign. All together, the school raised over $1,600 for Movember.

Sylvan Lake school band together to raise money for Movember

Staff and students at Steffie Woima worked all month long to fundraise for Movember

Over the month of November, staff at students at École Steffie Woima School bound together to raise money and awareness for Movember.

Spearheaded by Sean McWade, a Grade 5/6 teacher at the school, the students worked towards goals over the course of the month.

One the last day of the month the students had earned the prize of throwing dodgeballs at McWade, who was duct taped to the wall.

It was his idea to tap himself to the wall if the students raised enough money. The price point for this prize was $1,000.

“Originally we were going to have the kids pay $1 for a piece of tape to pin me to the wall, but we realized that would take to long,” McWade said.

Instead, students paid $1 to throw a dodgeball at their teacher, and it was an occasion the entire school got behind.

One by one, each grade in the school got up and lopped a ball at their teacher, because what kid doesn’t dream of that?

Some kids even purchased a couple balls to up their chance of hitting a subdued McWade.

“It was something they were really excited about and really looking forward to,” said McWade.

Over the course of the month the students were able to raise $1,670 for Movember.

McWade has done this fundraiser before, but says this year was by far the most successful.

“I think the most I raised in years passed was about $500, so this was a big jump,” he said.

He says he has chosen to do the school-wide fundraiser each year because of what November represents.

“The November campaign has really expanded since it started. It used to be just about men’s health and cancer, but now it also includes mental health,” said McWade.

“Mental health is something we are really trying to promote in our schools, and I thought this would be a good way to do that.”

On top of the increased opportunities to speak about mental health throughout the month, McWade said the project also taught the students about fundraising.

In particular, he said the older students, such ad those in Grade 5 and 6, learned there are many more possibilities when it comes to fundraising than just knocking on doors.

“I think I helped to teach them that fundraising can be exciting and that id they are really passionate about something, they can raise awareness for it.”

McWade made the month exciting by giving the students various goals to meet, by raising enough money.

Some milestones the students hit included McWade drawing student-made tattoos on himself and wearing a funny suit.

“One milestone they hit was I had to speak in different accents all day, that one was pretty difficult,” McWade laughed.

He plans on doing the fundraiser again next year, only he hopes to up the ante.

Next November he said he will be challenging other school to also participate and see who can raise the most money.

“Make it a compassion, because at this age a competition is very exciting for these kids,” McWade said.


On Nov. 30 Sean McWade was duct taped to the wall of Steffie Woima’s gym as a milestone goal the kids reached during the Movember campaign. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

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