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Sunday , 16 January 2022
Kidsport Bonnyville reps, Brad Ollen, right, and Victoria Bird, left, receive a donation cheque from the Stuart Olson team earlier in 2021.

Kidsport Bonnyville caps off 2021 year hoping kids can stay playing

While minor sports was able to roar back in many ways in 2021, Kidsport Bonnyville too was able to help get athletes participate in their favourite sports.

Board chair for Kidsport Bonnyville, Brad Ollen, told Lakeland Connect that despite fewer in-person fundraisers, like their annual Dodgeball tournament or Steak Night, support from the community came from far and wide in the past year. That includes Lakeland Co-op’s Fuel Good Day, NES Sureflow, Stuart Olson, Bonnyville Oil Ladies Society, Richardson’s Jewelry, and Baby Cherry Greenhouse. 

“We’re just working hard to stay in people’s minds when people are giving back to non-profits in the community,” said Ollen on After Hours. 

“Then we can give those kids that might not necessarily have that chance to play, that opportunity to be on the team, to score a game winning goal, to get a gold medal at a figure skating competition or a dance competition. Those are huge things for little kids.” 

In total, 21 local kids were funded for $5400. That’s down 60-70 per cent from previous years, but is a reflection of the inconsistency over the last several months when it comes to youth sports. 

“We’re helping out some kids, definitely. I think one of our biggest goals with the way things are going on right now, is we hope that sports can continue to go on to give that stability and outlet and chance to play, participate in an activity. And for us to continue to fund kids. We have great funding sources throughout the course of the year with donations,” said Ollen. 

One particular donation was $1000 from K&K Prairie Recycling who made this donation in memory of the late Victor Ringuette, who “was always so generous with his support of sport clubs and programs in this wonderful community we call home,” Kidsport said.

Currently, Kidsport Bonnyville is participating in the holiday campaign Give the Gift of Sport, which encourages people to donate what they can to their local Kidsport chapter. More details are on the Kidsport social medias and websites.

The board meets once a month are always looking for more members and volunteers.

“Give the gift of time. We’re always looking for volunteers…you can volunteer as little or as much as you want given the circumstances with things going on. We run about 4-6 fundraisers throughout the course of the year and then there’s some cheque presentations over the course of the year,” said Ollen. 

WATCH: Brad Ollen sits down with Michael Menzies (21:51)

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.