Campus jumps to participate in Chillin’ for Charity

By in News
Despite the below-freezing temperatures, teams wear costumes and jump into cold water.

On Nov. 2, students and campus community members bore cold outdoor temperatures and took a plunge into an outdoor pool for Chillin’ for Charity, an annual fundraiser for the Saskatoon Habitat for Humanity non-profit that is focused on affordable housing.

The event was hosted by Edwards JDC West, the University of Saskatchewan team that participates in the JDC West annual conference, a business competition in which students from western Canadian universities compete against each other in academic and non-academic categories. This year, the student group challenged Keith Willoughby, the dean of the Edwards School of Business, to take the plunge if they reached a fundraising goal of $7,500, which they surpassed on Oct. 30.

Meghan Johnson, a fourthyear human resources student and the vice-president charity of Edwards JDC West, explains that, this year, the event was held on campus in front of the Edwards School of Business, where an above-ground pool was filled with cold water from a fire hydrant.

“Now, we are almost past $10,000. Everybody on our team, every portfolio, dresses up in a costume and picks a song and jumps into the pool, and we get the fire truck to fill [the pool] up for us, so the Saskatoon Fire Department [helps out], which is great,” Johnson said.

Every external team that participates in Chillin’ for Charity is required to raise $100 dollars. Among those who participated are the Edwards Business Students’ Society and the U of S Students’ Union president, David D’Eon, who also jumped into the pool. All proceeds from Chillin’ for Charity will be donated to future housing developments in Saskatoon through Habitat for Humanity.

Along with a strong emphasis on charitable activities, JDC West hosts a yearly business competition conference between university teams that focuses on academic, athletic, debate and social achievements. Johnson shares that, besides Habitat for Humanity, their student group also volunteers with the Ronald Mc- Donald House, the Friendship Inn and the Royal University Hospital, among other organizations.

“From June to December, we get as many charity hours as we can and raise as much as we can,” Johnson said. “This is just another way we can give back to the community and give back to [Habitat for Humanity], because they are obviously a great organization… We are helping them with their gala next week as well.”

The Habitat for Humanity gala will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Delta Bessborough Hotel. Johnson explains that Edwards JDC West also competes with other universities for community- involvement hours, and she believes that they will surpass their goal of 1,500 hours before December.

Last year, the event was held in front of Habitat for Humanity’s office downtown, but Johnson believes that holding the event on campus has improved university involvement, and she is thankful to ESB for their support with the event.

“Because we’re having it on campus this year, we’re having a lot more spectators and student involvement, which is great to see — having people out there [to] watch, and not just having our own team, … and having a DJ in the loop and spectators is awesome,” Johnson said.

Johnson explains that the other JDC West teams also host Chillin’ for Charity events and that some university teams use dunk tanks instead of pools. She also explains that the U of S team is typically one of the last JDC West teams to host Chillin’ for Charity, as they intentionally pick a date later in the fall.

“We have to do [the event] before December, and then it’s just finding [out] when works best. Because we are from Saskatchewan, we push it as late as possible,” Johnson said. “Some of the other teams do it in September, when it’s a little warmer, [but] we’re from Saskatchewan — we should do it when it’s a little colder.”

Nykole King / News Editor

Photos: J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor