© Guardian photo by Bo Ford
Kaitlyn Parks, a third-year science student, hangs a Shinerama poster outside one of the UPEI school buildings. This is her third year participating in the event and she has already raised over $3,000.
By Bo Ford
The streets of Charlottetown and Summerside will look a little different on Tuesday after the Labour Day weekend.
They will be filled with UPEI students dressed in crazy costumes mostly blue and orange as they try to raise money for Shinerama. The money goes to the fight against CF. Kaitlyn Parks, a third-year science student at UPEI, will be participating in her third Shinerama and said she is excited to help out such a great cause.
“It’s a great bonding experience and you really get to know the people you are going to different locations with and it’s just so much fun.”
“It raises money for cystic fibrosis research and ultimately to find a cure for the disease.”
The disease plays close to her heart because a friend of hers from her hometown of Calgary suffers from cystic fibrosis.
“I ride (horses) with a girl who has cystic fibrosis and coming from a riding stand point its like I know how tough it can be, because it’s a lot of breathing,” she said.
“Some times she has to stop because it is to hard for her, I know how much I love it and how much she loves it and I wish she could just do it like me.”
Parks said her friend is an amazing girl while holding back tears.
“It’s close to my heart and I like raising money for it because it is a really good cause.”
Already Parks has raised over $3,000 dollars for her team participating in this year’s event.
“Definitely without my family and friends back in Calgary I couldn’t have raised this much so they play a big part in it.”
Parks, who is also part of the orientation welcoming crew, wasn’t familiar with Shinerama, which takes place at universities and colleges all across Canada, until she started her post-secondary education at UPEI.
Small town atmosphere brings out the best in the school Kaitlyn Parks, science student at UPEI
“I didn’t hear about it until I came to UPEI, It happens all across Canada, but I didn’t hear anything about it until I came here. It's a great experience and I love to do it.”
She said the small-town atmosphere really brings out the best in the school.
“We come together even more, we’re like a huge family that comes together and bonds over Shine Day.”
Shine Day brings out friendships that would never have surfaced between people.
“We don’t split the teams into certain faculties so you meet absolutely everyone. You have friends from business and from engineering.”
This is also the first year that Shinerama will make a move to Summerside and Parks said it is a test run to see how things go.
“We are sending a group of 10 or so students to Summerside, we’re not exactly sure where yet, but I think it will go well and we can expand this thing wider next year.”
Students will line street corners and hold different events including a car wash, some students come up with bright and playful costumes.
Parks said last year some students were doing some crazy things.
“I remember last year at one site that if people donated money one guy would wax a different part of his leg…absolutely ridiculous things.”
That stuff is what makes it so great, she said.
“The fact that people do this and get so into it shows they care about it, they want to find a cure for it.”
She said it’s great to see how much people care.