Student take an icy plunge for the United Way

On Nov. 10, students from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba leapt into an inflatable pool of ice-cold water to raise money for the United Way.

“Chillin’ for Charity,” as it is known, is the charity component of Jeux du Commerce (JDC) West’s annual business competition.

The JDC West competition has five facets: academics, debates, sports, social and charity. Competitions take place within these five categories.

JDC East, a similar competition for eastern-Canadian business schools, which began in Montreal, inspired the creation of JDC West. Each
university throws together a team of about 50 students who work on the competition throughout the year.

In January the participating universities unite for the JDC West games, which will be hosted by the University of Saskatchewan this year. This will be the third year the University of Manitoba’s team, “Team Toba,” will be participating in the competition.

Stephanie Ulm, co-chair of JDC West, explained that 11 business schools across Western Canada held their own Chillin’ for Charity event, with a total of 550 students participating.

The JDC West competition began in 2006, with the idea for Chillin’ for
Charity originating at the University of Saskatchewan.

Ulm said that each university is encouraged to donate to up to six charities through other initiatives beyond the Chillin’ for Charity event, and that all together about 66 charities are supported between the different schools.

The United Way is one of the main charities supported, because the original Chillin’ for Charity event held at the U of S was to raise money for the United Way.

There was $200,000 raised between the 11 business schools participating across Canada during the Chillin’ for Charity component of the competition last year.

Ulm shared that since the JDC West competition was founded its students have donated a total of about $550,000.

Ulm hopes that this year the $200,000 mark is surpassed.

“Charity is an important initiative, and [the charity component] is to encourage business students to continue to give back to their communities throughout their university career, and then throughout their business careers,” said Ulm.

Mike Gould, the co-captain of Team Toba, stated that their team had nearly raised $20,000 as of Nov. 10. He estimated that once all the final donations had come in, they would hopefully hit over $20,000.

“[ . . . ] It builds team camaraderie, and much more importantly it gets over $20,000 donated to the United Way,” Gould said of the Chillin’ for
Charity component.

Lori Russell, a sponsor executive at the United Way, explained that the organization supports over 100 agencies, with a focus on children.

Russell feels that university initiatives like Chillin’ for Charity are great because university is the perfect place to get started.

“Everyone is involved and being educated, and they will go on into the workforce and plant another seed, so that everyone else can be involved in helping the community become richer,” said Russell.