Students at SFU’s Beedie School of Business have raised money for cancer research for three years.

Surrey business students empty pockets for cancer research

Beedie School raised $80,000 through fundraising events.

Students at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business leveraged a project management class project to raise funds for cancer – and after narrowly failing to reach their ambitious $30,000 target, dipped into their own pockets to make up the shortfall.

It was the third consecutive time Beedie School Professor Kamal Masri has run the project in his Business 361 Project Management class, raising over $50,000 in total in 2013 and 2014 – for a grand total of $80,000.

The 25toLife project tasks students with organizing a series of events to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS).

Nine events in the fall included a sponsored climb up the 35 flights of stairs at Harbour Center (SFU Vancouver campus), a moustache-themed pub night, and a five-kilometer obstacle course sponsored by Steve Nash Fitness.

A last minute Christmas-themed event, led by BBA student Rhythm Tang, helped bring the total contributions just $400 shy of the target.

Determined not to fail by such a small amount, students reached into their pockets and began passing $10 and $20 bills to the front of the class – an unprompted gesture resulting in a $30,043 cheque to the CCS.

“It was truly humbling to be a part of such a dedicated team of students intent on raising funds for cancer research to support individuals affected by the disease,” said Beedie School of Business undergraduate Jordan Binotto.

“The project pushed us all to the limits but was one of the coolest experience in my undergraduate career. Learning about project management in class and immediately implementing our knowledge for such a worthy cause was so fulfilling.”

Last year, Masri was awarded the Canadian Cancer Society’s Community Champion Award in recognition of his efforts in spearheading the 25toLife project.

“There is no better way to learn about project management than putting business education into action, and the 25toLife project is a perfect example of experiential learning benefiting a worthwhile organization,” said Masri.

“The Canadian Cancer Society has been very supportive of the students over the last three years, and they deserve a lot of credit for the success of the project.”

For more information on the 25toLife project, visit

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