KidSport will is partnering with McDonalds to raise money and find volunteers for its chapter in Prince Rupert. (PXHere photo)

KidSport looking to build sustainability in Prince Rupert

The sports charity is recruiting volunteers to help with its fundraising efforts

A Prince Rupert charity is looking for willing hands and feet to help it make sport available to young local athletes.

On May 2, KidSport Prince Rupert will be raising money with Prince Rupert’s McDonalds to help support its mandate of providing opportunities for kids to play sports in the city.

While they will be raising funds, KidSport is also looking for volunteers to help build the organization in the future, and will have an information table available for those interested in contributing to the cause.

READ MORE: Police faceoff against fire crews for KidSport in Prince Rupert

“We’re trying to create a community chapter so the community can raise the money needed for KidSport which will be way more sustainable,” said David Geronazzo, recreation director with the City of Prince Rupert and a volunteer with KidSport.

The fundraiser is a part of McHappy day where the restaurant collects donations made through purchase of menu items. Fifty per cent of donations collected will go towards Ronald McDonald House BC and the other 50 will go to KidSport.

“I’ve played hockey since I was three and was involved in so many other sports growing up,” said Dave Wood, the owner and operator of the Prince Rupert McDonalds. “It’s benefited me in so many ways, and it’s wonderful to be a part of something that can help other kids benefit.”

KidSport currently receives an average of $15,000 per year from the province to help cover registration fees for kids who want to enter organized sports but do not have the resources to do so. KidSport has funded 373 kids in Prince Rupert from 2011-2017, spending $13,757 on registration fees for 57 children in 2017.

Geronazzo said the immediate goal of the local chapter is to create an grassroots infrastructure that can raise $30,000 independently as well as $15,000 – $20,000 to keep up the work KidSport does.

Geronazzo stressed that the work KidSport does is important because sports, being extra-curricular, may be considered a luxury in some households, and can be given lower financial priority than more immediate needs such as buying groceries and paying bills. He added that kids can miss out on the valuable benefits of participating in sport activities.

READ MORE: Firefighters golf scramble raises more than $5,000

“It’s everything from literacy around fitness and how it impacts you, to being part of a community that teaches them leadership and companionship,” he said. “And that continues into their future.”

Geronazzo said the immediate goal of the local chapter is to create an grassroots infrastructure that can raise $30,000 independently as well as $15,000 – $20,000 to keep up the work KidSport does. The volunteers would help to plan events, spread information about what the organization does and work with community partners to raise money.

“Volunteers will be an absolutely huge part of that,” he said. We can’t do that without the volunteers because it needs to be a community led organization.”

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