A fundraiser by students at WP Wagner High School in Edmonton, Canada has brought in enough money to provide 1,440 children with nutritious school meals for an entire year. Their 24-hour Bike-A-Thon saw over 800 kids cycle through the night to beat hunger.
EDMONTON – The students of Ms Candice Short’s leadership class had big plans for their annual Bike-A-Thon fundraiser. Always a big event at WP Wagner High School, this year student organizers decided to set their sights a little higher.
They challenged themselves to raise CAD $100,000 to donate to WFP’s school meals programme, which provides nutritious meals to millions of poor children around the world, helping them to grow up healthy and get an education.
“They wanted to do something that would be noticed and help inspire others,” said Kori Chilibeck, who heads WFP’s Canadian fundraising partner, Earth Water. “They’re really an amazing group of kids.”
The exercise bikes started whirring at 8:00am on Saturday morning and didn’t let up until 8:00am the next day. A 24-hour pedalling marathon, the WP Wagner Bike-A-Thon brought over 800 students together for a gruelling endurance contest in the name of ending hunger.
“Planning the event was tough. Running the event was tougher. But, saving hundreds of lives was priceless,” said Karlin Su, 17. Indeed, by the time she and her classmates collapsed from their bikes, they had raised over $72,000 from over 20 local businesses.
“The most amazing moment of all was when we looked up at the check and instead of seeing how much money we’d raised, thought about how many lives we’d changed,” said Ellyn, 16.
The kids at WP Wagner High School are still hopeful of finding more sponsorships and reaching their goal of $100,000. However, they have already more than succeeded in doing something important that will inspire others. Their hard work and commitment will provide over 290,000 school meals to children at risk of malnutrition who might not otherwise have had the means or the energy to stay in school.
“What’s really exciting about this is that it shows young people leading the way in the fight against hunger,” said Silke Buhr, WFP Private Partnerships Communications Manager. “Just imagine if every school was able to make such an incredible effort.”
The students at WP Wagner High School asked that the money they raised be used to fund school meals programmes in Haiti. These projects are helping to stave off malnutrition for some 800,000 children threatened with hunger after the January earthquake. Find out more