Ping pong relay sets new record for church

A parishioner of St. Christopher, Richmond Hill plays “keep up” with a frying pan.
A parishioner of St. Christopher, Richmond Hill plays “keep up” with a frying pan.
 on February 1, 2022

St. Christopher, Richmond Hill raises over $37,000

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, St. Christopher, Richmond Hill hosted its 4th annual ping pong relay for FaithWorks. 

For several years, the church has hosted ping pong events every day except Monday, for parishioners and members of the wider community. In 2018, the church decided to put those hours of practice to use by raising money for FaithWorks. As FaithWorks was supporting 18 charities, the church decided to play ping pong for 18 hours, non-stop over two days, with each person playing for one to two hours. The goal in that first year was to raise $6,000. The church ended up raising $8,000. 

It is a pattern that has continued ever since, with the ping pong relay exceeding the fundraising goal every year, despite some setbacks. In 2019, St. Christopher again decided to set the goal at $6,000 and this time they raised $10,000. So, the following year, 2021, the goal was $10,000 and a date was set for March. 

Of course, as the pandemic emerged it became clear that the event couldn’t go ahead. But many parishioners had already collected donations, so instead of cancelling, the church decided to get creative. The relay was postponed until November, when it was hosted on Zoom. Participants could no longer play ping pong against one another, so instead, they had to play “keep up” with a paddle and ball in their own homes. Once again, the relay exceeded its fundraising goal and raised $18,000. 

In 2021, to meet the challenge for FaithWorks’s 25th anniversary of increasing its giving by 1 per cent, St. Christopher increased its target to $24,500. 

Twelve players, ranging in ages from 14 to 89, took part. The relay began with opening remarks from Bishop Andrew Asbil, prayer and a video about FaithWorks. Then the relay began, as did the hijinks. “Fundraising has to be fun!” said the Rev. Canon Dr. Philip Der, incumbent at St. Christopher. There were challenges and games throughout the relay, including bible phrases to recite. One participant set himself the “challenge” of praising his wife throughout the relay, while another used a frying pan in place of a ping pong paddle. 

In just two hours, $5,622 had been raised. After adding up all the pledges, the church had reached over $32,000 by the end of the day alone. Donations continued to pour in after the event. The next day, during worship, the offering plates were so full that many donation envelopes fell to the floor after the sidesperson raised the plates during the presentation of the gifts. The final amount raised was $37,411. 

“We all witnessed how amazing God is,” said Canon Der. “Truly God’s blessing overflowed our cup. St. Christopher’s appreciates and supports all our frontline workers. We are grateful that we can bring more blessings to many who are in need!”


  • Naomi Racz

    Naomi Racz is a freelance writer and the editor of Faith Tides, the newspaper of the Diocese of Islands and Inlets (BC).

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