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'Shake it up for kids': Conestoga College students raising money for Food4Kids Waterloo Region

Second year public relations students at Conestoga are making sure local students have access to healthy food with a virtual cocktail night

A group of students from Conestoga College are putting the ‘fun’ in fundraiser with a virtual cocktail event, which will raise money for Food4Kids in Waterloo Region. 

As part of their program, second year public relations students are required to organize a fundraising event for a local charity. This is the second year in a row they have worked with Food4Kids, a local non-profit working to provide children with healthy and sustainable food options outside of the classroom.

Each team has a goal of $1,000. Last year, several teams surpassed their goal, raising over $6,000. 

“Which is a huge amount of money for us,” said Jennifer Birnstihl, marketing coordinator and fundraiser for Food4Kids. It typically takes $1,000 to supply the food for one child, so that money allowed them to take six kids off their ever-growing waiting list. 

The High Spirits team, who organized the cocktail event, is one of three teams this year, and is made up of Julia McIntyre, Tracy Boyle, Daria Danylova, Rachel Huhse and Gary Sun. As of Tuesday, they were just $115 shy of their $1,000 goal. 

“It's really important to raise money for these kids so they can have access to healthy food outside of the classroom, because that's kind of an issue that is not really talked about right now,” McIntyre said. “So if we could help even just one kid have food for a year, then I feel like we would walk away really proud.”

Teaming up with the Buzz Tour Company, for $25, attendees can learn how to make two “summery” cocktails. 

“We thought that [a virtual cocktail event] would draw a lot of people from different demographics,” she said. 

McIntyre said it’s been challenging balancing school and work with the demands of organizing a fundraiser like this, but that it’s been rewarding nonetheless, watching the donations and support flood in from the community. 

Along with the event tonight, there is a silent auction, which features items and gift cards that have been donated from tons of local businesses like Spin Cycle and Four All Ice Cream. 

“We’re all really proud of the work we’ve done,” Boyle said, adding that the experience has inspired her and her teammates to consider working in the non-profit sector upon graduation. 

“The students just amaze us with their creativity and their ideas. They've come up with some amazing ideas,” Birnstihl said. “They have such great energy and passion for what they're doing. It's really a win-win for everybody: they get the real life experience, and they're creating lots of exposure for us, in addition to the funds.”

Food4Kids relies heavily on money raised through community efforts, whether that be direct donations or organizing fundraising events like this one. 

Last year, they had more than $100,000 come into their budget from fundraisers like this. 

You can purchase tickets for tonight’s event here, or donate here

You can learn more about Food4Kids or look into the other active fundraisers here.

Taylor Pace

About the Author: Taylor Pace

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