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Spare Change Can Make a Huge Difference in a Child’s Life

by Shanine Sealey

May brings sunshine and the beginning of new life as we start to see the trees budding, flowers blooming and the streets full of people taking advantage of the warmer weather. Unbeknownst to many, May is also KidSport month. KidSport plays an important role within the community, as it is an option for families to turn to for financial support in order to ensure their children can participate in organized sports. This not-for-profit organization has been helping children aged 18 and under with registration and equipment costs since 1993.

Having children participate in sports has proved to be extremely beneficial, not only at the present time, but also for a child’s future potential by providing them with the ability to work alongside teammates, learn responsibility, to work hard, how to be gracious whether winning or losing and much more. The local program not only helps individual children, but also teams that require financial assistance.

Events are held throughout the year to help raise money for the program, such as; Play and Skate with Santa, the Shopping Extravaganza, Winter Funfest, the Saskatchewan Roughrider Bus Trip and others, however, come May, the Martensville branch of KidSport works extra hard to bring awareness to the program by reaching out to the local business community. Some options for businesses can include becoming a Corporate Friend of KidSport with a $250 donation; hosting events at work to help raise money; donate a portion or percentage of a sale item to KidSport; provide space for a KidSport can for people to drop spare change into, or sell KidSport cut-outs. Businesses that participate receive recognition through local media, and also have the joy of being able to help local children pursue their dream of participating in the numerous sporting options available within Martensville. “Although we do hold our own fundraisers throughout the year, having businesses jump on board to help support this program makes a huge difference. It helps to provide additional funding to help kids throughout the year and we are getting to the point now where we are almost unable to fund everyone that applies, so we really do need the extra support,” KidSport organizer Angie Reddekopp explained.

Since inception, the program has seen more and more applications being submitted each year, which in order to provide assistance, means they require more and more funding. “I don’t know if it is because people are becoming more aware of the program and it’s availability, the economy, or what, but we are seeing a surplus of applications coming in each year,” Reddekopp added. In 2016, Martensville KidSport supported 36 children with a financial total of just over $10,000. Although they may be unable to fully support each applicant, the KidSport committee tries to provide a portion to everyone that applies. All money raised within Martensville, stays within Martensville, and goes towards helping local children and teams. Reddekopp also stated that, “one donation, no matter the size can help to make a big difference in a child’s life.” Some applications that come through are for as little as $50 so providing some spare change in a KidSport can while visiting local businesses, or as a Corporate Friend who donates $250, that contribution can go a long way. Already this year, fifteen children have received financial support to help them have the opportunity to participate in local sporting options and that number continues to grow.

Recently, tickets for the annual KidSport Playhouse fundraiser became available for sale. This fundraiser is organized through the hard work of the Martensville A&W, Martensville & District Lions Club, Martensville Building & Home Supply, Martensville and Warman High Schools and other local businesses. Tickets for the playhouse can be purchased through the Martensville & District Lions Club and are two for $5. First prize is the Kids Playhouse valued at $3,500 and second prize is a $500 Cabela’s gift card, with the winners being announced on June 28th. All proceeds from ticket sales will stay within Martensville & Warman KidSport programs.

For more information on KidSport or to find out how KidSport can help you, visit the Recreation office and pick up an application form. Once filled out, the application form is taken to the KidSport committee for approval. If you are interested in donating, contact (306) 683-5577.

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