Help Trojans smash their Parade for Cancer record

·3 min read

This morning students and staff at West Ferris Secondary kicked of their annual Trojan Parade for Cancer, which takes place on May 30. Each year West Ferris Secondary School raises funds to fight cancer and help those within the community battling the disease. Last year, students reached a new fundraising record, bringing in $56,000 dollars for the cause.

See: Mind blowing cheque presentation at Trojans Parade for Cancer

Since the Trojan Parade for Cancer started 30 years ago, the school has raised over $350,000. “It really is incredible,” said Mark Robertson, a teacher at the school and one of the many organizers of the event. “Last year was the biggest year ever.”

The school’s large auditorium was filled today with excited students eager for the annual parade. When asked if they had anyone in their lives affected by cancer, a lot of hands went up. It’s clear the issue is close to their hearts.

One of the guests in attendance was Liz Humphrey, who recently rang the bell to announce she was cancer free after an arduous journey of chemotherapy and operations. Her kids were Trojans, so she felt right at home in the auditorium.

She delivered a touching speech about her diagnosis, her treatment, and how much the school’s parade meant to her. “The last year my son was here, he was raising money for his mom,” she said afterwards. “It hits different when you see where those donations are going and the impact it has for the hospital and for the support when you’re actually going through it.

“It definitely hits home for sure.”

She was diagnosed in 2020.

“Now I’m cancer free and feeling good.”

She told those gathered that their dedication to raising money for cancer “had touched thousands of lives,” within the community, including her own and her family’s. She looks forward to attending the parade.

“Don’t ever think that a small gesture can’t have a big impact.”

Stacey Whittaker knew that to be true as well. She was the one who started the parade when she was a grade 10 student at West Ferris 30 years ago.

A loved one was diagnosed with cancer and she and some friends did laps around the school’s track to raise funds. From that humble beginning, the Trojan Parade for Cancer formed and has gained momentum year after year.

Tammy Morison was also in attendance this morning and spoke to the students about the impact of their parade. Morison is the President of the North Bay Regional Health Centre Foundation. She detailed how the funds help procure equipment “critical for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

“As young community leaders you have inspired me and inspired our entire community,” she said. “Your donations are having an impact on patients with cancer right here in North Bay.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,