25toLife campaign raises $30,000 for cancer research

This past semester’s contribution brings the total for all of Professor Masri’s past classes to above $80,000. - Photo courtesy of University Communications

Some students go the extra mile with their homework, but the students in one Beedie School of Business class set out to raise a grand total of $30,000 dollars for a class project — and they weren’t going to be denied. They succeeded in surpassing their goal by just $34.

The money they were raising was for the 25toLife Campaign, which is a joint project between the BUS 361: Project Management class and the Canadian Cancer Society to raise funds for cancer survivors.

Beedie Lecturer Kamal Masri has led this initiative for three semesters. This past semester, his class set a fundraising goal of 30-thousand that they managed to surpass through a number of fundraising events organized and led by students. It all began when Masri decided that students seemed bored with the class and allowed them to plan an event that served the community.

“The Canadian Cancer Society came and spoke with students, and said that their project is about helping those with cancer to live life to the fullest, so we came up with the name 25tolife to help raise $25 thousand to life,” he said.

Still, he was astonished to see the selfless effort from his students. The class only hit their aforementioned goal as students contributed money from their own pockets at the deadline to help them surpass their goal.

With their deadline looming and the group $500 short, class accountant Rhythm Tang turned to the students to donate the rest themselves in order to succeed.

“I mentioned to the class that if each person pitched in $10, we would be able to reach our goal. There were students one after the other coming up to the front of the room with bills and counting down the amount until we reached our goal,” said Tang, who is also one of the students of the class.

During the final push from his students, Masri filmed the donations on his phone to keep a record of it for himself.

“I’ve never seen students respond to another student like I saw that day. It was amazing and showed that they were working together rather than working for a grade,” he said.

Since beginning in 2013, Masri and his classes have raised over $80,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society each fall.

The class was divided into several groups to arrange their projects to work towards their goal. One of the bigger successes was the “Are You Tougher Than Cancer” obstacle course, which was sponsored by the Steve Nash Fitness Club. Thanks to a large turnout from the community, that event alone was able to raise one third of their goal.

Other events include an Amazing Race scavenger hunt, a Fun Run around Burnaby Lake, and a sold-out pub night in Langley.

The group was able to reach their goal in part, thanks to the support offered through the community, with a lot of participation and organizations such as Jeux du Commerce West and Enactus SFU.

Tang encourages more students to take part in this class, but warns that they should know what they are getting into.

“You should have a passion for working with others and leading events and being encouraged by seeing results,” she said. “Kamal challenges us and tells us we should never give up because there’s always hope in the end.”