Grande Prairie’s Canadian Tire is hoping to once again be the top fundraising store in the region during Jumpstart month. The local branch has done it five years in a row, raising more than $130,000 in 2015 alone. They earned a $20,000 community barbecue as their prize, but General Manager Ron Regnier says they chose to dole out that money as well.
“Instead we took that money and were able to donate $5,000 to four schools in Grande Prairie that they were able to put towards their school lunch programs. Right now, we’re the top in our region; we still have a lot of the month left, so we’re hoping to be able to hold on to that.”
It plans to do the same this year if they come out on top.
Through Jumpstart, families with financial barriers can apply for up to $600 in funding a year per child to help with everything from sign up fees to equipment for sports and recreation activities.
The local chapter helped 1,100 children get involved in sports and recreation activities last year with more than $117,000. Regnier says they still have a carryover of funds from last year, and sit with about $90,000 available to families. He knows it’s been a tough year.
“There’s a lot greater need this year and we’re seeing more applications come in. Even though it’s a difficult year, we hope that people are still able to give us that dollar or those two dollars when they come through the register so that we can help the kids.”
He adds that with around 2,200 people coming through on a busy day, if each person made a dollar they’d be able to raise a huge amount.