Jail 'n' Bail raises over $4,000
Just over $4,000 was raised on Saturday for Special Olympics Alberta and the Olds affiliate during a jail and bail fundraiser. A total of $2,000 of that will go to the Olds affiliate.
Many locals such as auctioneer John Wayne and Special Olympics volunteer Abe Crawford were detained in order to raise funds to keep the local organization thriving.
Funds staying in Olds will help pay for transportation of athletes to competitions in Red Deer and elsewhere. Karen Mengersen, chair of the local affiliate, said transportation is the most expensive cost the program incurs. The jail and bail event is one of three major fundraisers the affiliate holds each year, with another being a slo-pitch tournament held in late winter before the snow melts.
“We probably have 12 (out-of-town) tournaments that we go to during the year (in various sports) … and each of those trips, because we’re probably taking 35 athletes … it costs us anywhere from ($660 to $1,000) depending on what bus we’re able to get and how far we have to travel,” she said.
The money also goes toward purchasing any equipment the organization might need and reducing the fees the athletes pay.
Mengersen said the event was also designed to raise awareness of Special Olympics in Olds. The Olds affiliate has 120 athletes taking part in 10 different sports, with many of them participating in two or more sports The affiliate is also hoping to shortly add swimming and track and field to the program as well.
Kirk De Fazio, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Alberta, said awareness and fundraising were the main objectives of the event.
“Per capita, this is one of our stronger areas (in terms of athlete participation) in Red Deer and Olds. We are really grateful for our partners and our sponsors,” he said.
One of those sponsors is the law enforcement community, which sponsors the Law Enforcement Torch Run, helping to raise awareness and money for the provincial organization.
“Law enforcement is our number 1 partner in the province. We can’t run these events if they aren’t working with us,” De Fazio said.
Everyone who participates in the awareness and fundraising from law enforcement does so on a voluntary basis. Det. Teresa Garagan of the Calgary Police Service, estimated that this year various law enforcement torch runs that take place across the province will raise about $300,000.
“And the good thing is we have no overhead, so all the funds go directly to Special Olympics,” she said.