The 800 students of Holy Cross School in Malton, northwest of Toronto, put their energy to good use October 31 to promote the defence of unborn children.
On that day, the students mixed Halloween hijinks with a fundraising “dance-athon” in support of Campaign Life Coalition.
The project, which was effectively combined with the separate school curriculum’s emphasis on social justice issues, saw students solicit pledges from family members, neighbors and their parents’ co-workers. Groups of students then assembled in the school gymnasium throughout the day to take part in 75 minute dancing sessions.
While the average total pledge per student ranged from $10 to $ 15, some students collected total pledges of up to $60. The total amount raised for Campaign Life Coalition by the dance-athon was $1,918.35.
The sight of costumed students dancing away to the sounds of contemporary pop music made for a lively spectacle throughout the day-long activity.
The Dance-athon for Life was brainchild of Holy Cross principal Bernard Kerr who selected Campaign Life Coalition as the latest beneficiary for the school’s fundraising campaign. Previous recipients of Holy Cross School fundraising included the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the annual Sharelife appeal.
Mr. Kerr asked teachers Mike Dziz and Maria Fata to see to the details and the rest was up to the students and donors.
In a letter to parents, the dance-athon was described as a means of promoting social justice awareness. “In the image of Christ, Catholics are called upon to oppose injustices throughout the world,” the letter read “One social justice ministry is the battle to stop the murder of helpless preborn babies. Unfortunately, the vicious murder, abortion, is legal and fully financed by your tax dollar. As Catholics and as Canadians, we stand opposed to this injustice against life.”
Some of the teachers at Holy Cross School used the occasion of the dance-athon to discuss the abortion issue with students.
Mr. Kerr said that while not all parents had heard of Campaign Life, no one objected to the national pro-life organization being named as beneficiary to the project. He said the dance-athon provided the educational community an opportunity to support an organization standing up to the anti-life, anti-family elements of society today.
He also reminded parents that the Catholic curriculum encourages educators to take a role in opposing elements of society in conflict with pro-life, pro-family values.
The success of the 1996 campaign has encouraged staff and students of Holy Cross School. Mr. Kerr suggested that the school is considering a similar project in 1977.