Student-led radiothon lends a hand to Bear Clan Patrol

Corbin Hollins, CONTRIBUTOR

Creative Communications students Alanna Yuen, and Ashley Tokaruk accept donations at The Care Necessities radiothon on Nov. 24 for Bear Clan Patrol. THE PROJECTOR/ Corbin Hollins

A group of Red River College students went live on-air to show they care at the Roblin Centre on Nov. 24. Creative Communications students ran a 12-hour radiothon, The Care Necessities, in support of Bear Clan Patrol — a volunteer group that promotes peace by patrolling Winnipeg’s North End communities.

On air, students encouraged people to donate food and sanitary products like socks and shampoo to create care packages for Bear Clan Patrol’s Be the Reason — a campaign that distributes care packages to people who need them most.

The radiothon is part of an annual class assignment, but students get to choose which charity they support.

“In the past, Red River Radio has selected bigger organizations that have funding coming toward them,” said Joy Balmana, 26, Creative Communications student. “With Bear Clan Patrol, they’re growing and you can see the impact they’re making. That was something that was really important to showcase and raise awareness for.”

On air, students interviewed guests like local musician and Bear Clan Patrol volunteer Tyler Harper, elder and original member Chickadee Richards, and executive director James Favel. Favel co-founded the patrol in the early nineties, but over the years, volunteer turnout for the patrol began to fade. However, Favel says after Tina Fontaine’s body was found in 2015, the Bear Clan Patrol made a comeback, with no shortage of volunteers.

“We’ve seen an increase in our numbers from five or six people on a Friday night to an average of 25 members per patrol,” said Favel, “We’ve had 207 brand new volunteers in the last two weeks.”

Over the course of the day, the radio hosts challenged local organizations to donate to places like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce rose to the challenge.

“Right now, I think that warm clothes are an important thing to donate. Going into winter, it’s always appreciated.” said Jerett Bogue, 36, project manager and part-time Bear Clan Patrol volunteer.

In total, over 400 needed products were donated, and $165 was raised in support of Bear Clan Patrol.