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Going Ape!

École Robert H. Smith was a jungle of activity for its 11th annual community breakfast.

The theme for the March 2 event was Robert H. Smith Goes APE. The fundraiser was in benefit of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada and the Roots and Shoots Canada program, which engages school communities to take on action-based projects that benefit people, animals and the environment. Robert H. Smith was the first Roots and Shoots school in Manitoba.

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"Sustainability is so important. Our school is about making the world a better place for animals, people and the environment," said Principal Tom Rossi. "Today's a good example of making the world a better place, by bringing the community together and fostering peace. If you look around right now, there's a lot of peace here, and we're sure missing that in the world."

The carnival-like event draws many special guests every year, including Winnipeg Blue Bombers mascots Buzz and Boomer, Winnipeg Jets' mascot Mickey Moose, the mayor, city councillors, the Chief of Police, the Ace Burpee Show, and the CTV Morning Show, to name a few. Members of the general public come in droves to make donations through a variety of fundraising activities: the $5 per person breakfast, massages, haircuts, curls, finger nail painting, pop up braid bar, specialty coffee and carnival games for kids.

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Mr. Rossi promoted similar breakfasts when he was an administrator at Meadows West, Luxton and Stanley Knowles schools. Between all of his schools, there have been 26 consecutive fundraisers. Past beneficiaries include The Children's Hospital Foundation, The Children's Wish Foundation, The True North Foundation's Project 11 and Winnipeg Harvest.

"It's one of the biggest events of the year," said student Theo Shalley.

Theo was one of many students who volunteered to make the event a success, including entertainers, ambassadors and more.

"I am one of the door-greeters today…I like being able to help out," Theo said.

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