A group of Gladstone Secondary School Improv Club students put on a 12-hour Improvathon to raise money for Teen Suicide Prevention on April 5, 2013. This was the first time the school's Improv Club put on a show that was open to the public.
Shila Amin, a Grade 11 student in charge of the sound board during the event says that she joined the school's Improv Club because if forced her to step out of her comfort zone, allowing her to devote herself to what she truly liked - drama.
The Improvathon started at 9 AM and lasted throughout the day with students performing every 90-minute school block and over 2-hour periods after school. Tickets were sold for $1 per person for class time performances and $2 for after school performances. Tristan Wong, a Grade 12 student who is the co-director of the Improv Club says they will be matching the donations dollar for dollar in support of Teen Suicide Prevention.
"Raising awareness is our main goal and hopefully we can fundraise $1,000 after the show," says Wong. "There's always hope. It's important to support things you believe in."
Wong says he was inspired to get involved by Gladstone teacher Sharee Proudfoot. Proudfoot will be running a marathon to fundraise for Teen Suicide Prevention in order to raise awareness of mental health issues faced by many students.
"We wanted to do something big, something unheard. As far as I know, this is definitely the first time this sort of thing has happened in Vancouver," says Grade 10 student Darien Imai who is the technology director of the Improv Club. "12 hours is a long time, but it's a big challenge for a good cause."
The students say they believe that teen suicide is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
"I hope eventually teen suicide will be a thing of the past," says Imai.
Grade 12 student Amrith Manajs says her club wants to send a message to all teens in the school and assure them that support will always be there.
Read more about the Improvathon in the Province newspaper.