$1 mil­lion fundrais­ing mile­stone reached

Bri­gadoon Vil­lage dock of­fi­cially named for Big Swim

Valley Journal Advertiser - - SPORTS - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA

An or­ga­ni­za­tion that helps chil­dren fac­ing health-re­lated or other life chal­lenges has paid homage to one of its great­est sup­port­ers by re­nam­ing its swim­ming dock.

Bri­gadoon Vil­lage has of­fi­cially re­named the main swim­ming dock at its Aylesford Lake fa­cil­ity in hon­our of GIVETOLIVE’s The Big Swim. A nam­ing cer­e­mony and plaque un­veil­ing was held re­cently that in­volved mem­bers of the GIVETOLIVE team and Big Swim vol­un­teers and vet­er­ans.

Bri­gadoon Vil­lage ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor David Graham said the re­nam­ing is in­tended to hon­our the ef­forts of all the swim­mers that have set foot in the wa­ter to cross the Northum­ber­land Strait as part of the fundrais­ing ef­fort and the countless hours that GIVETOLIVE vol­un­teers have put in to sup­port Bri­gadoon.

The Big Swim has been rais­ing money in sup­port of the vil­lage for seven years, with the vil­lage be­ing the fundraiser’s ex­clu­sive cause for the past five. The or­ga­ni­za­tion set out to raise $1 mil­lion for Bri­gadoon and that mile­stone was sur­passed in 2018.

“In that time, more than 1,000 kids have been sup­ported in at­tend­ing Bri­gadoon di­rectly from the pro­ceeds of the Big Swim,” Graham said.

He said the Big Swim chal­lenges in­di­vid­u­als to do some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary – swim ap­prox­i­mately 15 km from New Brunswick to PEI – while rais­ing money in sup­port of chil­dren who at­tend Bri­gadoon. The event is held an­nu­ally in Au­gust.

Bri­gadoon Vil­lage is a year­round, non-profit recre­ational fa­cil­ity that serves chil­dren from across Canada liv­ing with health con­di­tions or who are fac­ing other life chal­lenges. It of­fers pro­grams spe­cific to med­i­cal needs, a grief pro­gram for kids who have lost loved ones and Camp BE­LIEVE, a sum­mer camp for young peo­ple be­tween the ages of seven and 18 who are im­pacted by a fam­ily mem­ber’s men­tal ill­ness. Graham said the ex­pe­ri­ence can be trans­for­ma­tional or life-chang­ing for par­tic­i­pat­ing kids.

He said Bri­gadoon wouldn’t ex­ist if the com­mu­nity hadn’t got­ten be­hind the orig­i­nal build­ing cam­paign and if peo­ple didn’t con­tinue to give in sup­port of the chil­dren who at­tend its pro­grams.

For ex­am­ple, in 2018, ap­prox­i­mately two per cent of its op­er­at­ing bud­get came from gov­ern­ment. The rest came from part­ners, through fundrais­ing and through do­na­tions from the com­mu­nity.

“This past sum­mer, we had more than 700 kids at­tend our pro­grams and that places Bri­gadoon to be the largest pe­di­atric ill­ness camp pro­gram in the coun­try,” Graham said.

About GIVETOLIVE

The GIVETOLIVE or­ga­ni­za­tion was co-founded by Ash­ley Ward and Todd McDon­ald. They work to in­spire peo­ple to live happy, healthy lives through gen­eros­ity, fit­ness and achieve­ment of the ex­tra­or­di­nary. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s events also in­clude The Big Ride, The Big Chill and The Big Wel­come.

GIVETOLIVE board mem­ber and The Big Swim event di­rec­tor Heather McGrath said part­ner­ing with Bri­gadoon is the per­fect fit for the or­ga­ni­za­tion. By cre­at­ing some­thing that in­spires peo­ple to live healthy lives while giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, they’ve been able to of­fer an event that ev­ery­one can iden­tify with.

Ul­ti­mately, the or­ga­ni­za­tion strives to cre­ate a com­mu­nity with its par­tic­i­pants, who sup­port and en­cour­age one an­other be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter The Big Swim. Bri­gadoon also cre­ates a com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­ment with its campers, staff and donors.

“By pro­vid­ing this fund­ing to Bri­gadoon Vil­lage, GIVETOLIVE aims to give chil­dren the ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ence of camp with oth­ers that they can re­late to and iden­tify with,” McGrath said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Bri­gadoon Vil­lage pro­grams or to do­nate, visit www.brigadoonvil­lage. org or call 902-422-3387. For more in­for­ma­tion on GIVETOLIVE and its events, visit www.givetolive.ca.

KRYSTOL BELL PHOTO

Mem­bers of the GIVETOLIVE team, vol­un­teers with The Big Swim and some vet­er­ans of The Big Swim at the of­fi­cial re­nam­ing cer­e­mony for the Bri­gadoon Vil­lage swim­ming dock.

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