NORTH DELTA — In a sweet fundraiser, students at Gray Elementary sell candy canes for charity during a pre-Christmas initiative.
Each year, the Grade 3 students in the school are given the task of hosting the annual candy cane sale.
Now in its fourth year, the event has become a special tradition students of that age are eager to facilitate.
“It’s a really special Grade 3 thing,” said teacher Elsie Boysen. “Younger students can’t wait for their turn.”
This year’s sale raised a peppermint-cool $1,510 for Ronald McDonald House.
Kids sold candy canes flavoured with strawberry, watermelon, cherry, raspberry, blueberry and, of course, classic peppermint.
The sale started four years ago, when a Grade 3 student told his class he wanted to help kids in Africa by raising money to buy their community a clean-water well.
His class rallied behind his idea and decided to sell candy canes to raise the money.
Their goal was to raise $125, but that number ballooned to $500 by the time all money was counted. The event was such a success that Boysen and fellow teacher Janelle Feenan decided to do a candy cane fundraiser with their classes the following year, too. They selected Make-a-Wish Foundation as their beneficiary and raised close to $3,000.
Last year, Grade 3 students at the school raised $1,500 for St. Jude’s school in Uganda, where the money was used to purchase textbooks and school supplies.
This year, Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver was selected as the charity for the candy cane sale.
The entire school community is excited to be able to help sick children and their families, Boysen said.
“After a few of us visited Ronald McDonald House and shared our experience with the students, they felt even more connected to this cause and empowered to bring change,” Boysen noted.
“Many expressed gratitude that they are so healthy and realized that these children at Ronald McDonald House are just the same as them except they are sick.
“Even as this event grows in size and popularity, we continue to be amazed by the enthusiasm and generosity of our Grade 3 families and school community.”