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Orangeville high school raises thousands for breast cancer research

Westside Secondary School in Orangeville, Ont. (CTV News/Molly Frommer) Westside Secondary School in Orangeville, Ont. (CTV News/Molly Frommer)

Westside Secondary School in Orangeville has been named the top fundraising team for its efforts to raise thousands of dollars for Breast Cancer Canada.

"It's a really big accomplishment for both our students and our community that supports us. I think most people know someone who has been affected by the disease, which is where we have our students who volunteer to help," said Westside Secondary School's vice president Christine Kirkland. "It's really amazing to see their buy-in to give something back to somebody else."

The school has hosted 'Pink Day' since 2004 when a staff member was diagnosed with breast cancer. Pink Day is held every October and is recognized across Canada as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This past October, the school raised $15,635 for Breast Cancer Canada for the Raise More Challenge and has since been named the top fundraising team.

Westside Secondary School in Orangeville shows up for Pink Day in October in support of breast cancer research. (Source: Westside Secondary School)

"I raised over $1,500. I don't know how much specifically, but I just wanted to do it because I wanted to give back to my community. I just recently moved to Orangeville, and I just wanted to do something for this great place," said Grade 11 student Manhar Khurana.

For Grade 9 student Ryan Tovell, the cause hit close to home.

"I've had people in my own family have cancer, and it's just nice knowing that people are getting supported in that way and that there's hope out there," said Tovell.

In a last-minute decision to support the cause, Grade 12 student Emma Kirkland shaved her head during the Pink Day festivities.

"I chose to because I knew it would be a really good incentive for people in my grade to donate," she said.

This marks the fifth time the school came in on top as the lead fundraising team, benefitting the community in a big way, with a portion of the funds going directly to Headwaters Health Care Centre.

"Breast Cancer Canada gives back $5,000 to the local oncology unit. So, that's $25,000 that's come back to support our oncology unit at the hospital. It is amazing that people can have their treatments locally and not have to travel out of town," said Kirkland.

Since Pink Day began, the staff and students at Westside have raised close to $200,000, and they have no plans of stopping. Westside Secondary School hopes to remain the lead fundraising team again in October. Top Stories

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