For the past six years, The Business School has partnered with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) to sell Toronto Marlies tickets to raise funds for Camp Oochigeas – a summer camp exclusively serving children with cancer.
With the help of 250 students, this year’s project raised more than $21,000 and marks a milestone for Humber’s efforts in raising $100,000 throughout the years.
The idea initially started when business professor Tony Gifford was approached by MLSE in 2011 to create a fundraising initiative. It was then adopted as an assignment for students to test their sales and marketing skills while raising money for the important cause.
Business professor Steve Bang says he was fortunate to have watched the initiative grow throughout the years. “We have about eight programs that participate in this project now and that accounts for 250 students who are quite inspired to start selling once they know more about the camp,” he says.
Students can choose to sell tickets to the Marlies game and $5 from each ticket is donated to the camp or customers can donate a ticket to a family who participates in Camp Oochigeas so they can attend a game.
This allows families to enjoy a day unlike their ordinary routine and give their children a chance to have fun and enjoy the hockey experience, knowing Humber students are helping send their children to camp in the summer.
“Ooch wants to ensure every kid affected by cancer in Ontario has the chance to attend camp. Currently, 2,400 kids with cancer in Ontario do not have access to an oncology Camp,” says Camp Oochigeas Events Development Coordinator, Teya Vitko. “An overwhelming number of parents say Camp and other activities outside of the hospital has had a significant impact on their child’s ability to be independent, confident and resilient, to make friends, and have an improved outlook on cancer and life.”
With Humber’s support, 25 children have been able to attend the two-week overnight camp.
“It now costs $4,000 to send these children to camp for two weeks. So, for us to generally sell between 600 to 1,000 tickets each year, we are happy to help, seeing that Camp Oochigeas is not government funded and relies solely on fundraising efforts,” says Bang.
The students who are able to sell the most tickets are awarded by MLSE with various prizes which include tickets to any of their sport games, a day to shadow the account executive on game day or potentially complete an internship and have the opportunity to be hired by MLSE.
This year Camp Oochigeas will also offer an internship in event planning and fundraising to a student who qualifies for the role.
Humber’s initiatives have helped kids affected by Cancer be who they are and not define themselves by what they have. The camps mission and values are one of the many reasons the students aim to increase their donation efforts each year.
“Giving back to one’s community by contributing time and donations to meaningful causes is a great way to build community and feel empowered by getting involved with an organization that is making a real difference in people’s lives,” says Vitko.