$1 million fundraising milestone reached
Brigadoon Village dock officially named for Big Swim
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.
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.
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.