Cadets are pulling an all-nighter for a good cause.
The city’s six different cadet units are all coming together to host the third annual Thunder Bay Cadet Rock-a-thon in support of Shelter House, being held this weekend at the HMCS Griffon.
Approximately 100 cadets are tasked with staying awake for 24 hours while keeping rocking chairs in motion with the goal of raising one tonne of food for Shelter House.
Chief Warrant Officer Ashley Mattice, also chair of the cadet planning committee, said having all the different units working on the same project is not particularly common.
“It’s rare that we have every unit at one single event,” Mattice said on Saturday. “Usually we do citizenship on our own in our different units but together as one is a really big thing to show the cadet organization is supporting citizenship activities.”
Representatives from the Shelter House provided a presentation on Saturday to show the cadets how the facility operates and talk about its importance.
Mattice said she thinks it’s important for the cadets to understand why the Shelter House is necessary for the community.
“Being able to get them to understand how other people may live and that it’s not always the same as what they have and being able to have all of us here to grasp the concept is important to their knowledge,” she said.
Lt. Laura Nahlé said having cadets engaged in the community at a young age is a fundamental principle of all the programs.
“One of the aims of the Air Cadet program is citizenship so to give back to a community that supports our program so much is very important to us,” Nahlé said. “To do it in a way where cadets are participating together as one team means a lot to them and to us.”
While Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for many city charities and food banks, the following months can see donations slow down.
“One of the reasons we decided to hold this event in January was to restock after the Christmas rush. A lot of focus is put on the Christmas season but people don’t only go hungry on Christmas, they go hungry all year.”
Organizers had a whole host of events planned to aid with keeping the cadets awake including swing dancing lessons and an early morning DJ dance party.
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