Rick Mercer returned to Algonquin for the third time, to congratulate the college for raising more money than any other post-secondary institution for the annual Spread the Net Student Challenge.
A rally was held at the Student Commons March 16 at 1 p.m., where Algonquin was praised for raising $13,200 this year and a grand total of $64,000 over the last three years for Spread the Net.
Mercer thanked the students and employees of Algonquin for their generosity to help prevent malaria, the most deadly disease in Africa that has the highest rate of death under the age of five.
Taylor Cummins, a first-year police foundations student, said that even though Spread the Net is a police foundations initiative, they have been giving other programs more opportunities to get involved.
“This year we had firefighters and event management students involved and they helped out a lot,” said Cummins. “Next year they’re opening it up to all the other programs.”
Abie Kollo, another first-year police foundations student, said there will be early preparations for next year’s Spread the Net Student Challenge.
“We’re trying to keep the program going,” said Kollo. “I know people who are organizing events in the summertime, so we already have everything organized for when we open up again next semester.”
Mercer gave an inspiring and powerful speech at the rally March 16. He claimed that because of the donations and support of students from across the country, such as the ones at Algonquin a cost effective way has been found to prevent this terrible disease. $10 for a bed net can save a person’s life said Mercer.
“We’re beating malaria!” exclaimed Mercer. “The number of deaths due to malaria in Africa has dropped by 58 per cent since the year 2000.”
Mercer’s way of thanking Algonquin for its generosity is by showing off the school and its students for the season finale of his popular CBC show, The Rick Mercer Report, which aired March 31.
Mercer received a manicure from the esthetician students, hung out with the firefighters and held a rally for all students to sing, dance and show off their win to the nation.
“A big part of this is just showing off the school spirit, which is why we do the rally,” said Mercer. “But it’s always good to cover the fact that Algonquin has such a vast variety of programs.”