Community

Old gear can help kids get in the game

Chris Wilson of KidSport Tri-Cities will be collecting used sports gear starting Feb. 27 for the charity
Chris Wilson of KidSport Tri-Cities will be collecting used sports gear starting Feb. 27 for the charity's upcoming spring used equipment sale; proceeds from the fundraiser go towards sports registration fees for local children in low-income families.
— image credit: JANIS WARREN/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

Clean out your closets, basements and garages of skis, skates and sticks to support a great cause.

Starting next Wednesday, KidSport Tri-Cities will be accepting used sporting gear donations for its upcoming sale, a fundraiser that helps low-income families with the high cost of athletic registration fees.

The group's executive director, former Olympic wrestler Chris Wilson, said lacrosse equipment and bicycles are especially needed for the March 9 sale at Port Coquitlam's Riverside secondary school.

"They are always popular items and tend to sell out quickly," he said.

Last year, KidSport Tri-Cities handed out more than 600 grants up to $225 each ($300 for hockey) — a total of about $125,000 — to local families wanting to register their kids in a Sport BC-approved activity. Nearly half of the applications received by the non-profit group in 2012 were for soccer, Wilson said.

Since it started, KidSport Tri-Cities has aided more than 2,000 children and paid out close to $400,000 to subsidize registrations. The cash is brought in through the spring and summer gear sales as well as other community fundraisers, including Operation Red Nose, which is held during the Christmas season to offer safe rides home to revellers.

Wilson said KidSport Tri-Cities is also backed by School District 43 (it distributes KidSport information to schools for their newsletters) and Thrifty Foods. Currently, the grocery chain is donating $1 to the organization for every 4 lb. bag of Buck Brand oranges sold.

Wilson said the two equipment sales are the largest money-makers, noting the last event in August 2012 yielded $17,000.

Besides being a successful fundraiser for KidSport, the sales are a boon to parents; typically, about 1,500 shoppers attend, many of whom outfit a child for hockey for less than $100.

If you have used sporting goods to donate, you can do so from Feb. 27 to March 8 at:

• Port Coquitlam recreation complex;

• Port Moody recreation complex;

• Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, Coquitlam;

• Thriftopolis (2579 Lougheed Hwy., PoCo);

• or Jim Pattison Hyundai (2385 Ottawa St., Port Coquitlam).

Items not sold at Riverside secondary will go to KidSport New West, which also has a March sale.

Sponsored in part by The Tri-City News, the KidSport Tri-Cities sale is on March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is by donation or with a non-perishable item to the Share food bank. For more information, visit kidsporttricities.ca.

 

jwarren@tricitynews.com

 

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