It’s all about the kids.
A two-storey, custom-built playhouse, the grand prize in a KidSport fundraising raffle that kicks off this week, was unveiled in Warman on Monday, April 24.
This is the second year for the project, which raises much-needed funds for the Martensville and Warman KidSport committees. KidSport provides funding for less-fortunate families to enable children to participate in organized sports like hockey, figure skating, softball, baseball and soccer.
The month of May has been designated KidSport Month. All funds raised locally through this raffle are distributed to families within the two communities.
The playhouse was built over the fall and winter months by Warman High School shop teacher Terry Martin with help from students at the school. Last year, a similar playhouse was built by students at Martensville High School. Building materials, moving expenses and publicity donations were made by several local businesses, while Martensville and District Lions Club members are selling raffle tickets.
At the unveiling of the KidSport playhouse on Monday, April 24, Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence said KidSport funding is helping many families that otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in organized sports.
“Last year, we had 48 families that applied to the local KidSport Committee here in Warman and received funding,” said Spence. “A total of $21,000 was distributed.
“But the need is far more than that,” she added. “And it’s likely to keep increasing, so this fundraising project is very important. This is a valued program in our community, and we’re thankful to all those who contributed.”
Martensville Deputy Mayor Tyson Chillog said last year the Martensville KidSport Committee assisted 36 kids with financial support to the tune of over $10,000.
“This year’s goal is $15,000,” said Chillog. “We encourage businesses to get involved with KidSport Month by hosting fundraisers like barbecues, ‘dress-down’ days, sales of KidSport cutouts, and donating a portion of sales to KidSport.”
Angela Reddekopp, Martensville KidSport Coordinator, said it takes the support of many businesses and individuals to make the project a success.
“This event doesn’t just happen by itself,” said Reddekopp. “A lot of local, community-minded partners are involved.”
KidSport Saskatchewan Coordinator Carolyn Ganes said this playhouse raffle project is a model for the rest of the province and the country.
“We have over 40 KidSport committees across the province,” said Ganes. “The need is rising, so it’s important that communities come together and take ownership of local fundraisers.
“Martensville and Warman are clearly the leaders in the province,” she added. “This is a unique project and we would love to see this type of thing happening in more communities.
“I’ve been showing other committees the newspaper articles on this project and encouraging them to do something similar.
“Even from a national perspective, KidSport Canada has never seen anything as big as this anywhere else in the country. It brings everyone together for such a great cause. It’s really inspiring to see.”
Raffle tickets are available from Martensville and District Lions Club members, as well as the Warman Super Valu and Martensville A&W. The draw for the playhouse will be made in late June.
Martensville Mayor Kent Muench will be chairing a new city council with a mix of veterans and newcomers when the newly-elected officials meet on Tuesday, November 1.
Incumbent city councillors Tyson Chllog, Bob Blackwell, Darren MacDonald and Jamie Martens will be joined this term by Debbie McGuire and Michael Cox.
Muench was acclaimed Mayor earlier this month.
The official election results, released by the Martensville election office, showed Chillog receiving the highest number of votes at 625.
McGuire was second with 511 and Cox was third with 500.
MacDonald received 497; Blackwell garnered 483 and Martens had 468.
The only incumbent councillor to not be re-elected was Travis Wiebe, who placed seventh in the race for the six seats at 425.
The other candidates in the race were Geoff Baker (352), Randy Elliott (294), Darnell Kuzek (258), Robert Postma (254) and Marcia Cross (220).
Incumbent councillor Terry Kostyna did not seek re-election.