Thursday night might have been a little uncomfortable for Dwight Bergstrom as he camped on top of a scissor lift swaying in the wind, but he slept with the comfort of knowing dozens of Prince Albert kids will be able to participate in sports this fall thanks to the generous support of the local community.
Bergstrom promised to sleep on the scissor lift if the local KidSport chapter could raise at least $4,000 in donations Thursday.
By Friday morning, they had collected almost $11,000.
“It was a little unnerving,” Bergstrom said about the swaying sleeping platform. At times he feared it was a passerby, and not the wind, shaking the ground beneath his sheets.
“It was just rocking and rolling. The little bit of suffering was well worth getting this done.”
The fundraiser has been held in the past, but it’s not often hit the $10,000 mark. Bergstrom thanked sponsors and media partners for helping to spread the word that pledges were being accepted at Dr. Java’s Thursday.
“The level of awareness this year was over the top compared to any other year,” he said.
“We were way busier with the walk-in stuff and way busier online too.”
Bergstrom said the three volunteers he had come out were busy all day taking donations.
“It was really good.”
The fundraiser’s success is a relief, Bergstrom said, as KidSport was facing a large funding crunch just as sports leagues are opening back up again. The organization usually holds its fundraisers in May, but due to COVID-19, annual events were cancelled.
That left the organization staring at a $20,000 hole just as sports registrations were opening up. KidSport funds eligible kids’ registration fees to play sports. The fall is always the busiest time of year, and right now, hockey, indoor soccer and other sports are getting ready to start their seasons.
“We were really behind the eight ball coming out of the month of May. That’s our big month,” Bergstrom said.
“Everything was off the table and we were well behind.”
Combined with last week’s bottle drive, Bergstrom estimates that the organization raised about $15,000, with the potential for more donations to keep coming in.
Bottles are still being counted and the online donation portal is still active. Bergstrom is confident KidSport will be able to help out lots of kids in the coming weeks.
It’s such a good cause. There’s roughly 4,000 kids in PA. that are living at the financial level that would qualify for our funding if they applied for it,” he explained.
“There’s no way we could handle that, but the more kids we can fund into sport, the better. The busier these kids are, the healthier their lives will be all the way around.”
This week’s fundraising means about 63 more kids will have access to sports.
“Every time we raise $240, that’s another kid in sport. It’s just that simple. We have to raise a lot of $240, over and over and over again. That’s the trick.”
To contribute to KidSport, visit https://kidsportcanada.ca/saskatchewan/prince-albert/donate/. All donations stay within the community.
To donate to the scissor lift fundraiser, visit kidsportdonations.ca/scissorlift