People who think of rugby as a rough-and-tumble sport may be pleasantly surprised to find a softer side to the players. This week saw local rugby organizations involved in two charitable events: An announcement of a significant donation to schools and a fundraiser for the Victoria Hospice.
Rugby Canada and the Rotary Club of Colwood on Thursday announced a donation of more than $5,000 in rugby equipment to schools. The money was raised from concession sales and other fundraising activities by the Rotary Club of Colwood at rugby games in 2012.
The fund was used to purchase rugby gear for schools in the West Shore.
“The kits are meant to get equipment to children at the grassroots level,” said Todd Silverthor of the Victoria branch of Rugby Canada. “Along with the kits we will support the initiative by sending players to give instruction at the schools throughout the year.”
Each kit includes 10 vests, 20 mouthguards, 20 cones, five balls, one whistle and one ball pump.
For more information, go to rugbycanada.ca.
Rugby match aids hospice
Saturday saw two long-time rivals playing to claim rugby bragging rights — and also raise funds for the Victoria Hospice. The friendly match pitted the Oak Bay-based Castaway Wanderers against the James Bay Athletic Association in a double-header at Windsor Park.
“Castaway Wanderers versus James Bay always promises a great game and we get a lot of folks turning out to watch,” said the club’s Brent Johnston before the match.
“Although we’re fierce rivals on the field, rallying together to support a great cause while showcasing our sport is a win for all of us.”
Admission was by donation, with half of the proceeds donated to the Victoria Hospice for ongoing programs and services that provide end-of-life care.
“We are really happy to be part of this terrific event — and honoured to have been chosen as their charity of choice for this annual Castaway Wanderers effort,” said Wendy Innes, corporate and community relations officer for the Victoria Hospice.
“We depend on the support of our local community for almost half of our annual budget. Without events like these, we couldn’t continue to do the work we do.”
$55,000 raised for heart health
Canadian Tire shoppers have helped raise more than $55,000 during the annual Fix-A-Heart campaign, in support of the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Heart Health program. Since 2003, the campaign has raised more than $500,000. The money raised is used to buy lifesaving cardiac equipment that helps thousands of patients across Vancouver Island.
The campaign, which ran between November and December last year, saw Canadian Tire stores in View Royal, Royal Oak, Gordon Head and Victoria match customer donations dollar-for-dollar.
“Not only have they helped buy crucial equipment for the cardiac care unit for more than a decade, they also set a wonderful example of what can be achieved through long-term dedication to a cause,” said Lance Abercrombie, chairman of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
“Thousands of patients have been helped by the equipment purchased through their annual campaign. Our local Canadian Tire stores have made a huge contribution to Royal Jubilee Hospital and we are extremely grateful.”
Canadian Tire’s contributions have funded specialized beds for cardiac patients, diagnostic treadmills, defibrillators and other sophisticated equipment that directly benefits patients. The equipment enables doctors and nurses to offer state-of-the-art care to patients suffering from heart-related ailments.
“The Fix-A-Heart campaign is something we look forward to every year,” said Dave Ullathorne, owner of the Douglas Street store.
“Heart disease is a major problem in our society, and we want to directly help people affected by it. It’s encouraging and uplifting to see our customers and the community supporting this initiative year after year. Our goal is to eventually reach the $1-million mark.”
For more information or to donate, go to victoriahf.ca.
Pink campaigns battle bullying
Wednesday is Anti-Bullying Day and organizations, students and businesses are doing their part to promote an end to bullying.
• Hillside Centre employees, retailers, and hundreds of construction workers on site will be wearing pink to show the importance of ending bullying no matter where it happens. They will wear Bullying Stops Here T-shirts and arm bands to show their commitment and support for those working to end bullying.
Lansdowne Middle School students will be at the shopping centre’s food court at 11:45 a.m. to hand out pink paper bracelets with the message Be An Ally — Stand Up Against Bullying.
Hillside Centre will match the money collected from T-shirt sales and donate the funds to the Boys & Girls Club of Victoria, which provides youth and family services.
• Staff at a local hair salon will wear pink and offer haircuts by donation next Wednesday. Lizzy Lee & Me Salon hosts a pink-themed anti-bullying cut-a-thon — cutting hair, doing nails, mini-manicures and glitter tattoos — by donation.
All the donations go toward Pink Shirt Day 2013, with proceeds benefiting the CKNW Orphan’s Fund as well as Boys and Girls Clubs.
Services by donation. Minimum suggested donations are $5 for a bang trim and $10 per haircut. Children and adults welcome. The event runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Lizzy Lee & Me, 3655 Shelbourne St. (Shelbourne Plaza).
For more information, go to lizzyleeandme.com or call 250-590-5568.
A holiday wish for dying child
Friends and acquaintances of a couple whose two-year-old daughter is dying of a terminal disease are hoping two separate events will raise money to help the family and give them what could be their last opportunity for a holiday with their child.
Tiny Madrona Fuentes has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. She spent the past eight months at the B.C. Children’s Hospital, where she received chemotherapy and a potentially life-saving stem-cell transplant in October.
Unfortunately, after an initial positive prognosis, Madrona has relapsed. Her parents were recently told she has between two and eight months to live, based on similar cases.
Friends and supporters are organizing two events: a dinner to raise enough money to send the family on a weekend getaway in Tofino, and a by-donation charity run to help renovations to the family home.
“We’re hoping that the family can enjoy what they can from this little getaway — given the dark reality,” said Paige Mashford, a family friend.
Jack’s Place, a restaurant located in Bear Mountain Resort, will be serving a Menu for Madrona next Tuesday night. Every meal ordered off this menu will see $10 go toward helping the family. People who can’t attend can still donate to the cause.
The event starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the restaurant, 2020 Country Club Way. For reservations, call 250-391-5225.
The Walk or Run for Baby Madrona charity event, with one-, five- and 12-kilometre distances, is by donation. It starts at 8 a.m. March 2 at Frontrunners Victoria, 1200 Vancouver St.
For information on Madrona or the event, go to madronafuentes.com.
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