KidS­port Swift Cur­rent look­ing at dif­fer­ent ways to raise funds

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBENBERG — mlieben­berg@prairiepos­

KidS­port Swift Cur­rent is fac­ing a grow­ing chal­lenge to raise enough funds to pro­vide fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in sport.

The ac­tiv­i­ties of KidS­port in the city were high­lighted dur­ing a fundrais­ing break­fast at the Liv­ing Sky Casino, Nov. 16.

Todd Holt, the Swift Cur­rent Bron­cos all time lead­ing scorer, was the guest speaker at the event. He re­flected on his ca­reer as a player that started when he learned to skate and play as a young boy on dugouts. He ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the work done by KidS­port to give chil­dren an op­por­tu­nity to have fun.

Two cheque pre­sen­ta­tions were made at the event. Bron­cos alum­nus Jeremy Ron­deau pre­sented a do­na­tion of $1,000 from the MNP Bronco Alumni Golf Clas­sic to KidS­port Swift Cur­rent Com­mit­tee Chair Richard Bis­son­nette. Over the past four years a por­tion of the pro­ceeds from this golf tour­na­ment has been do­nated to KidS­port.

Lo­cal Tim Hor­tons own­ers Pete Fehr and Dade Get­zinger pre­sented a cheque of $13,163. This amount was raised through the an­nual Smile Cookie cam­paign, which do­nates a dol­lar to KidS­port for each cookie sold. Dur­ing the past 11 years the cam­paign has raised ap­prox­i­mately $93,000 for KidS­port Swift Cur­rent.

Ac­cord­ing to Bis­son­nette the sup­port of the com­mu­nity has been cru­cial to en­able KidS­port Swift Cur­rent to help chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous sports.

“We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate all the sup­port we get from our city, be­cause with­out them we wouldn't even ex­ist and there'll be a lot of kids on the side­lines,” he said af­ter the break­fast.

The host­ing of the break­fast was made pos­si­ble through the sup­port of pre­sent­ing spon­sor Cres­cent Point, event spon­sors Cy­press Ford and Liv­ing Sky Casino, while var­i­ous other busi­nesses contribute­d raf­fle and auc­tion prize do­na­tions.

KidS­port Swift Cur­rent also has an ar­range­ment with Sports Trader Plus to equip chil­dren with the re­quired gear for their ac­tiv­ity.

“We'll do the oc­ca­sional equip­ment drive and then we'll do­nate it to Sports Trader,” he said. “He'll give it a value, put it on our ac­count and then we can just send kids in and they can get equip­ment.”

KidS­port Swift Cur­rent has been ac­tive in the com­mu­nity since 1996, when it re­ceived 11 ap­pli­ca­tions for sup­port. In 2018 the non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­cessed 175 ap­pli­ca­tions, rep­re­sent­ing more than $48,000. Dur­ing the past 22 years it spent about $600,000 on sport reg­is­tra­tions for over 3,800 lo­cal chil­dren.

There has been an up­ward trend over the years in the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions, but even more dra­matic has been the ris­ing reg­is­tra­tion cost for sports.

“We're look­ing at about $500 for the av­er­age kid just to play some sport and that's one sport a year,” he said. “We like to be able to give them $500 per kid per year and we're hop­ing that gets them in­volved in two or three sports a year, but be­cause the costs are in­creas­ing it's get­ting tougher and tougher for peo­ple to find the money to be able to have their kids play in more than one sport a year.”

This was the sev­enth break­fast hosted by KidS­port Swift Cur­rent, but they are con­sid­er­ing other ways to raise funds.

“It's kind of nice to have a break­fast, it is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent than the nor­mal din­ners and other fundrais­ing events, but be­cause we're com­pet­ing with all of those or­ga­ni­za­tions in try­ing to con­tinue to get fund­ing we're go­ing to have to come up with some new ideas and ex­cit­ing ways to get peo­ple in­volved to help get our ac­count up there so that we can con­tinue to fund these kids,” he said.

One of the ideas brought up dur­ing re­cent board meet­ings is to have con­tact with busi­nesses ear­lier in the year to talk to them about sup­port­ing KidS­port.

“This event is at the end of the year and a lot of busi­nesses said their an­nual bud­get for fundrais­ing do­na­tions is al­ready spend and they need to come at the start of the year, when they will be more than happy to help out,” Bis­son­nette ex­plained. “So we're look­ing at that, maybe just talk­ing to busi­nesses and say­ing would you be in­ter­ested in spon­sor­ing a kid, and spon­sor­ing a kid is like a $500 do­na­tion for one kid per year.”

Pho­tos by Matthew Liebenberg

Lo­cal Tim Hor­tons own­ers, from left, Dade Get­zinger and Pete Fehr make a cheque pre­sen­ta­tion to KidS­port Swift Cur­rent Com­mit­tee Chair Richard Bis­son­nette, Nov. 16.

Todd Holt was the guest speaker at the KidS­port Swift Cur­rent break­fast, Nov. 16.

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