EMCS leadership class wins philanthropy award

Sooke high school class works to create a positive and energetic school culture

Take a bow, Edward Milne Community School Leadership Class.

The class won the Youth in Philanthropy Award during the National Philanthropy Day Awards in Victoria last night.

Each year, National Philanthropy Day recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations in the community that are making a difference in the lives of others.

The leadership class from Edward Milne Community School in Sooke works to create a positive and energetic school culture, but it is the local and national projects that set the group apart from others of its kind, said judges.

The group started this year with its annual Cops For Cancer fundraising campaign. Its hard work paid off as it raised $5,000 during the one-day spin-a-thon, and another $1,300 during a one-day bottle drive.

While the Cops For Cancer event has always been the primary fundraising focus, this year’s group wanted to look to the community of Sooke and aid families in need.

This year’s EMCS Leadership group was the driving force in creating a districtwide food drive, 10,000 Tonight, with the aim of gathering 10,000 nonperishable food items for local food banks. With Belmont and Royal Bay on board, the event raised over 12,000 food items in four hours. This one event stocked up the Sooke Food Bank, and feed 300 families in the Sooke area at Christmas.

It didn’t stop there. When the group heard that the Sooke Food Bank was again running dry in April, the group created 10,000 Tonight: Spring, and on its own collected another 4,000 food items. This event fed another 150 families.

The leadership group then looked nationally at the devastation in Fort McMurray, and in a few short weeks raised more than $1,500 in aid.

The group is continuing to look at creating and broadening more local initiatives, and is strengthening a partnership with local businesses, specifically the Sooke Food Bank

The National Philanthropy Day celebration was presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Vancouver Island.