Students staffing raffle sales tableA student-run raffle raised more than $1,100 for the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex.

Student partnerships in science support local mental health organization

University of Windsor’s Pre-Medical Society partnered with the USci Network’s Sci of Relief in raising $1,100 for the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex, which provides mental health and addiction resources to the region.

The no-contact fundraiser was held outside a local Starbucks in Fall 2020. The group raffled off a gift basket filled with items to promote mental health items, valued at nearly $1,000. More than 60 local businesses donated items including a gym membership, restaurant gift cards, and a spa kit. Goodie bags containing masks, stress balls, and other small treats were provided to supporters.

Volunteers included Rhonda Abdel-Nabi, Breanna Vasko, and Alexandra Sorge of the Pre-Medical Society and Sci of Relief representatives Sira Jaffri and Mansi Arora.

Pre-Medical Society science student representatives Rhonda Abdel-Nabi, Breanna Vasko and Alexandra Sorge helped out with the event. Sorge says they wanted to to put together items which promoted mental health while giving back to the local community in a safe, COVID-friendly way.

The students say they were motivated by the work the association has done during the pandemic.

“With the help of the community and in partnership with Sci of Relief, we are extremely proud to have donated $1,122.96 to the organization in support of our community,” says Vasko.

USci Network faculty advisor Dora Cavallo-Medved says that encouraging students to be focused on their own mental health, while supporting others, is a mandate of the club.

“By giving to back to the community, our science students have demonstrated they can rise above the downfalls of the pandemic and support others in need,” says Dr. Cavallo-Medved. “It really speaks to the tremendous spirit of our student body in science.”

Manager of community engagement for the association, Kerri Hill, says it appreciates the student effort.

“Each year weare thankful to be chosen and supported by so many student groups and organizations at the University of Windsor who initiate events to build awareness and raise funds to support the mental well-being of their peers and our community,” Hill says.

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers training and mental health education as well as programs for individuals struggling with their mental health. To learn more about its services, visit

Academic Area: