St. Joseph CES Bowmanville student named Hometown Hero at Oshawa Generals game

sam cooper hometown hero

Grade 8 student Sam Cooper has raised more than $45,000 for cancer research

This year’s Family Day had an extra special meaning for St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School Grade 8 student Sam Cooper as he was awarded the Desjardins Insurance Hometown Hero award at the Oshawa Generals game. 

Over the last 10 years, the Bowmanville student has been a dedicated participant in the Cops for Cancer Pedal for Hope campaign with the St. Joseph CES community. With just over $45,000 raised since junior kindergarten, he has big goals to hit the $50,000 mark before he graduates. 

“Sam earned this recognition all on his own,” said his teacher, Katherine Miller. “Anytime he would say ‘thanks’ with relation to the nomination, I felt silly because everyone knows he deserves all of the thanks and praise for the work he has put into his fundraising.” 

Cooper’s selflessness is a large part of his personality, as upon first meeting with him, you would never know the contributions he has made to cancer research. 

The determination for bringing awareness to such an important cause rides close to home, as Cooper lost his father to cancer when he was a baby, as well as living with his mother, Julie Cooper, who has undergone various cancer treatments herself. 

“My mom is my biggest hero,” said Cooper. “I know being a single mom is not the easiest job, and I am so thankful for all of the work she has done to raise me.” 

When he’s not organizing bottle drives and reaching out to community members for funds, Cooper enjoys playing hockey, building things around the house, and gardening with his mother and grandmother. He has plans to enter the skilled trades, particularly carpentry, and currently his favourite subject is history. 

“Pedal for Hope has been such a part of Sam’s identity over the past 10 years,” reflected Julie. “I have always been so proud to see him keep his father’s memory alive through his commitment to raising as much as he can for the Canadian Cancer Society.”