KidSport bottle drive exceeds expectations

The KidSport Prince Albert bottle drive on Tuesday and Wednesday filled four donation containers from Greenland Waste. (Dwight Bergstrom/Facebook)

A KidSport Prince Albert bottle drive may become a regular fundraiser after the success of the one on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Dwight Bergstrom, who’s been with the local chapter for roughly five years, didn’t know exactly how much money the bottle drive raised during an interview on Thursday afternoon. However, he said he was humbled by how many people dropped off their recycling.

“We’ve never done this before, so we had hoped that we could maybe fill one of those containers that we had,” said Bergstrom.

“We filled that up the first day, and then the second day we filled up a second one by noon and we ended up filling up four, so it really went well.”

Greenland Waste provided the donation containers.

Members set up outside of TJ’s Pizza and Propaganda, which also provided giveaway prizes. They took empties from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, and had to shut down by 6 p.m. on Wednesday because they filled all of the containers.

“Our mandate is to give this money to kids that are financially disadvantaged, but want to be involved in sport,” said Bergstrom.

“One hundred per cent of the money that we raise in P.A. goes back to P.A.”

KidSport Canada works with its local chapters to provide grants for children between the ages of five and 18 to enrol in one sports season. If the child’s area doesn’t have a local chapter, the grant comes from the provincial office.

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the KidSport Prince Albert events that normally take place in May, they decided to take a leap and try something they’ve never done before.

In a way, said Bergstrom, the pandemic helped them out—with SARCAN closing its doors for months, people’s empties kept accumulating. Even still, after reopening in June, people still are lining up outside of SARCAN.

“There was a real build up in people’s houses. I know people were so happy to have a good cause where they could give their stuff to,” he said.

He thanked the fundraiser’s sponsors, as well as businesses like Fresh Air Experience and The Bison Café for the donations.

KidSport is moving forward with its annual scissor lift fundraiser on Sept. 24. If they raise more than $4,000 through pledges, Bergstrom will be spending the night in a scissor lift.

Last year, he said, they raised about $5,500: “Hopefully we can repeat that.”

KidSport grants up to $500 per child, but grants average about $200.

Last year, the non-profit granted $1,609,454 to 13,858 kids across the province to give them access to sport.