The Lloydminster Staples store held a fundraising barbecue for local Special Olympics athletes on Saturday as part of a corporate Canada-wide “Give a Toonie. Share a Dream” campaign. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
The Lloydminster Staples store aims to raise $3,000 in support of local Special Olympics athletes in an ongoing Canada-wide corporate campaign.
The month-long blitz could extend beyond the original May 21 deadline, which stokes Lloydminster Staples’ general manager Tina Manjaly, who held a fundraising barbecue on Saturday.
“We are going for another two solid weeks and I think they’ve extended it for another week, so you’ve got lots of time to come down and support our Olympians,” she said.
“We’re supporting communities across Canada, 45,000 athletes and 21,000 volunteers and every bit that we raise here stays with the Lloydminster chapter.
“I want to raise a lot of money.”
Nationally, Staples hopes to raise about $750,000.
Customers who missed the BBQ can support the Staples “Give a Toonie. Share a Dream” cause by making a donation in store at their local Staples location or online at the staples.ca/shareadream website.
Special Olympics Canada is a non-profit organization that provides sports opportunities and programs to people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics athlete Brendon Vriesendorp of Moncton, New Brunswick is the ambassador for the 2018 campaign.
Manjaly was glad to have a couple of Lloydminster Special Olympians on hand to promote sales of hotdogs, burgers and pop for a $5 donation and interact with the customers.
“There’s some lovely people that are here with us today from our local Lloydminster chapter and they’re just great kids,” she said.
The athletes were Eileen Brown and Kenneth Broadbelt.
Also on hand was Mark Witzany, chair of the Lloydminster chapter of Alberta Special Olympics with 68 local registered athletes.
“There’s only a certain number of sports that are sanctioned by Special Olympics so we’re just doing two sports right now, floor hockey and bowling,” he said.
The opening of Lloyd Lanes for 5/10 pin bowling this spring means they can look forward to future competitions that were suspended with the closing of Border Bowl in 2015.
“Because so many of our athletes have physical disabilities they seem to like bowling—it’s been a long term tradition in Lloyd,” said Witzany.
“There’s been that rivalry among them and keeping scores and going to different towns for competition like St. Paul and Elk Point.
“We started in April—we keep our scores and as we go into next year we will keep our scores and we will go to different competitions.”
He said in the short term they won’t be going into any competitions, but in the long term they will be.
The inaugural Special Olympics Canada 2018 Bowling Championships are being held in P.E.I this week with more than 300 bowlers taking part.
That’s followed by the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games, hosted in Nova Scotia for more than 1,000 athletes from July 31 to Aug. 4
Lloydminster Special Olympians also participate in a walking club and play some bocce.