Students and staff create community of hope

By Caitlin Brezinski
September 30, 2014 - 4:42pm
Students and staff compete in a round of tug of war. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski
Students and staff compete in a round of tug of war. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski
Students prepare and scout out their competition. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski
Students prepare and scout out their competition. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski
A team is defeated in an intense round of tug of war. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski
A team is defeated in an intense round of tug of war. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski
Jackie Packet with the display featuring the dedications. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski
Jackie Packet with the display featuring the dedications. paNOW photo by Caitlin Brezinski

About 1,000 students and staff members came together as a community to create something special.

A Terry Fox Foundation fundraiser, “Pulling for a Cure,” was held at St. Mary High School on Tuesday in Prince Albert. Various school teams, along with staff members, competed in rounds of tug of war.

Loretta Morhart, a teacher at St. Mary High School, said they used to pull a bus in a timed event, but switched to the tug of war last year.

“We found that it was much more engaging for the students,” she said.

In addition to tug of war, another way to engage the students was to have them write the names of people they are pulling for on pieces of paper rope. The display, “out of love, we are pulling for you,” was set up in the commons area.

Many of those pieces of rope were dedicated to two students at the school who are battling cancer.

Doris Wilson, a former staff member and cancer survivor, comes back every year to participate in the event. She said she wants to show people there is hope and cancer can be beaten.

“A lot of people think that once you have cancer, you’re kind of doomed, but this gives other people hope,” she said.

Jackie Packet, English teacher and cancer survivor, said she hopes students continue to be aware of struggles people face and to support them.

“The younger you are taught that we do not exist alone, we exist as a community, and as a community we’re stronger, the better you area and the more you have to offer your community,” she said.

Packet hopes students continue to realize the impact they can make as a community.

“I’m just hoping today’s experience of being involved with the pull will carry on and they’ll recognize that yes, we did this for cancer research but to recognize that people have other struggles in their lives too … if we stick together as a community to support one another, those struggles don’t seem as big,” she said.

Morhart said the passion of staff and students allowed the event to be successful.

“I’m really proud of what we do here at St. Mary. Not a lot of high schools are continuing to do it,” she said.

Team Track and Field won the tug of war and about $2,000 was raised for the Terry Fox Foundation.

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