Hit the ice for Curl for Kids Sake

By Lindsay Ducharme

The Grand Slam of Curling may have come to an end in Fort McMurray, but residents have another big curling match to look forward on March 29th. Curl for Kids Sake presented by Canadian Tire benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters Wood Buffalo will return for it’s third year, and while the event will not be as serious as the Grand Slam, event organizer and executive director Danielle Murgatroyd promises it will be fun for all involved.

PHOTO - Supplied.

PHOTO – Supplied.

“You don’t need to know how to curl, it’s purely for fun, but you know if you are a serious curler and you want to come out and get some ice time then certainly come out and do that.”

“What we are doing is encouraging people to get teams of four to six people together to come out and curl during the day. We encourage everyone to collect $100 in pledges, and that gives you your curling time, we provide the brooms, the sliders, there will be pizza, prizes and everyone gets a take away when they leave. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to have their staff members out there, it’s good team bonding. There is no need to know how to curl, it’s purely for fun and to raise funds for our programs,” she continued.

Curl for Kids Sake is one of the largest annual fundraisers for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Murgatroyd explained the event is vital for the day to day operations of the program, “Our goal this year is set at $70,000 and all the money raised goes to our community based matches, so that’s your traditional big brother big sister matches which is the staple of our organization. One of the big things is we are not United Way funded so we do rely on our fundraisers for funding.”

PHOTO - Supplied.

PHOTO – Supplied.

“We do three programs: the traditional big brother big sister matches, in-school mentoring where volunteers to go into the school for an hour a week and mentor a child and it’s not literacy based, it’s relationship based. We also do an after-school program called full circle mentoring and we do that three times a week downtown, in Gregoire and in Thickwood and once a week in Anzac and it’s an aboriginal program bringing kids back to their culture, we do aboriginal crafts, we bring in drummers and dancers, it’s fun for kids. When you look through all of our programs we probably serve about 120-130 kids per year,” she explained.

Murgatroyd said Curl for Kids Sake is an opportunity for family, friends and co-workers to experience a new event together. Adding to the fun this year is the event theme, Rock of the 80’s. She encouraged all participants to break out their tight, bright, fluorescent wear and put to use those discarded banana clips.

“I don’t think that curling is as popular as Fort McMurray could see it being and I think that if you are looking for something to do, come out and try it because it’s not serious, try it for fun, you could end up joining the curling team, other than that come out and meet people and support a good organization.”

Those interested in participating in Curl for Kids Sake are encouraged to register early as time slots fill quickly. Registration can be completed by calling the Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 780-791-2447. Pledge sheets can then be emailed to participants. Online registration will also be accepted through the Big Brothers Big Sisters website http://www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/woodbuffalo/en/Home/events/curlforkidssake/default.aspx.