Grade 12 students Max Fowler and Brady Stock have had a busy academic year, but that didn’t stop them from co-organizing a huge Relay for Life event and generating a massive amount of Crescent school spirit in the process. Relay For Life events unite communities to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
In the spring of 2022, Fowler and Stock began thinking about organizing an event that would bring the community together. “We first had the idea of starting our own Relay for Life event only at Crescent,” says Fowler. They were inspired by the research they had done as Grade 10 students in the School Participatory Action Research Collaborative (SPARC), where they discovered that school spirit had fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As their plans began to develop, students from other COSSOT schools reached out to suggest they collaborate on a multi-school event with Fowler and Stock at the helm. With support from Ari Hunter, Assistant Head of Upper School, they began meeting weekly with their co-hosting leadership team of two student representatives and one teacher each from UCC and Havergal. Planning began in June of 2022 and stretched through to the event day of April 27, 2023. “The community we built by working together for such an important common goal is really incredible,” says Stock. He now considers his co-organizers to be close friends. “The connection that we have is unique.”
The team handled many logistics — city permits, equipment rentals, and more — and the results speak for themselves. The seven participating COSSOT schools raised a total of $330,000 and engaged over 1,000 members of their communities.
As the final lap of the relay wound down on April 27, Fowler and Stock talked about how grateful they were to have been able to organize it. “I've been a Prefect, I've been a House Captain, been on lots of sports teams and stuff, and those were great,” says Fowler. “But this was definitely the best thing I've done in high school. It was amazing to see the event come together.”
Fowler and Stock may be graduating in just a couple of weeks, but they built a succession plan for the next Relay For Life leadership team and hope that the event continues for years to come.