Swift Current elementary students have once again poured their hearts into fundraising for the Terry Fox Foundation, making impacts locally and nationally through their efforts.

O.M. Irwin was the top fundraising Kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Saskatchewan from campaigns last fall -- something the school achieved the year before, as well.

Teacher Christine Thompson was surprised that they came out on top again and noted that it's never a driving factor when they plan their campaign. 

"We do have a student in our student body who is battling cancer at the moment, so we were sort of reserving some of our fundraising energy to do some fundraisers for a family in our building," she added. "So, we were a little bit surprised actually that we were right at the top of the list again because it wasn't quite as big of a push this year. It's a nice moment to have, but it's not necessarily like our focus is being number one."

The school came in just under their goal of $10,000 this time around, bringing in $9,424.83 for innovative cancer research. Thompson attributed half of that final total to online fundraising through their campaign page, which has just launched again for 2024.

While some of the usual strategies made comebacks, they also added new, fun ways to raise money including a family movie night at the school with a concession. 

terry fox movie night om irwinStudents and their families getting cozy for their first movie night fundraiser. 
terry fox movie night om irwin - concessionTerry's Team (students Grades 6 to 8 who help plan and run fundraising events) working the concession stand.

An exciting surprise for the student body kicked off the campaign.

Terry's brother, Fred Fox, visited O.M. Irwin at the beginning of the school year to speak with the kids and share a presentation to get everyone excited for the September campaign. 

"We didn't tell the students he was coming," Thompson said. "They thought it was going to be just a typical kickoff, and we were doing our usual amping the kids up and letting them know what we were planning and things like that. And then we just introduced Fred and he came in.

fred fox with om irwinFred Fox, Terry Fox's brother, joins the students with their fundraising goal poster. 

Thompson extended heartfelt thanks to everyone who was involved in organizing the events and to every single donor -- including the notable donation match of $500 from Giant Tiger in Swift Current and the families of students who pledged online.