On Sunday November 20th at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall at Concordia University, 140 students from 14 high schools across Montreal will be coming together to sing and dance their hearts out on stage – with the goal to raise money on behalf of the Just for Kids Foundation (JFK). After months of practicing, students from Bialik, Centennial Academy, ECS, Herzliah, John Rennie, Kuper Academy, Laurier Macdonald, Royal Vale, Royal West Academy, Selwyn House, St. Thomas, The Study, Trafalgar and Vincent Massey Collegiate will be participating in the JFK’s ‘7th annual G!EE High School Showdown’ – a singing and dancing competition inspired by the hit TV show Glee.
They will be showcasing their talents in support of the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) and even though tickets have been sold out for some time now you can still support them by donating online (see links at the end of the article). The shows have raised more than several hundred thousand dollars over the years – but every year brings about continued challenges for the MCH, now at their new location at the Glen Campus. It is from initiatives like the G!EE Showdown which allow the hospital to continue to provide high quality healthcare to infants, children and teenagers.
Close to 200,000 children are treated each year at the hospital and their need for state-of-the-art equipment is fundamental to being able to offer the level of care required. The foundation’s vision is for the MCH ‘to have all it needs to treat its young patients and help provide its world-class medical professionals with all the necessary tools to heal, using procedures that are as non-invasive as possible’. It also helps parents sleep better, knowing their children are getting the best possible care.
This year JFK’s fundraising goal is $500,000 to help the MCH purchase ‘high priority medical equipment’ for the departments of Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Cranio-Facial Surgery and the NICU. Since its beginning in 1987 the foundation has purchased over $10 million worth of medical equipment for the hospital.
JFK was founded over 28 years ago by a small group of concerned parents who saw the need to raise funds in order to purchase the urgently-needed equipment for the hospital – equipment that is immediately put to use to diagnose and treat young patients. Since then, their organization has grown into a community of dedicated volunteers who continuously look for new and innovative ways for this very important cause.
And indeed they have with the ‘G!EE High School Showdown’. Not only are the students dedicated, helping to raise an impressive amount of money over the years, but participating in the show also creates bonds among them, providing amazing opportunities for team building activities while also working together to support the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
In order to compete in the event, each team of ten is responsible for raising a minimum donation/registration fee of $1,600 – providing a great opportunity for the students to get out into their communities and promote a very worthy cause.
Last year nine Montreal high school teams competed in JFK’s sixth annual ‘G!EE High School Showdown’ which took place at the Eric MacLean S.J. Centre for the Performing Arts. Dedicated and talented students ‘wowed’ the sold-out audience with their singing and dancing performances. Their efforts raised an impressive total of $125,000 for the MCH and it would not be surprising if they surpass it this year.
It is a ‘showdown’ and therefore competition is in the air. At last year’s event, 1st place went to Selwyn House with their ‘Beatles Medley’. Trafalgar took 2nd place with their performances of ‘Listen’ (Beyonce), ‘Superstition’ (Stevie Wonder) and ‘Survivor’ (Destiny’s Child), followed by Bialik in 3rd place with their ‘Journey Medley’.
But no matter which school wins, the real winners are the students themselves – and the children at the MCH who will benefit from their hard work and dedication. With students like these, the future of our world looks quite bright indeed.
This year’s show is sponsored by Ardene and promises to be an amazing event. If want to know more about the Just For Kids Foundation, or haven’t bought your tickets on time and would still like to support your favorite team or alumni school – you can go online and click on the G!EE icon under ‘Upcoming Events’ on the left side bar at: http://jfkfoundation.ca
Look out for the article in the Montreal Times after the 20th to find out how the show transpired!
By: Bonnie Wurst – totimes.ca