A fun, creative virtual fundraiser hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters has been a hit so far with Cariboo residents, said BBBS of Williams Lake and District executive director Angela Kadar.
The 5K Your Way was introduced May 30. The rules, Kadar said, are simple: you have 24 hours to complete five kilometres in any way you like whether it be by running, walking, biking or crawling.
“It didn’t matter [how people did it],” Kadar said. “It could be done anywhere in the world.”
Three branches – BBBSWLD, 100 Mile House Big Brothers Big Sisters and Prince George Big Brothers Big Sisters — teamed up to host the event.
“So that means the money raised in Williams Lake or 100 Mile House from participants who registered stays right here to support local kids,” Kadar said, thanking the over 30 people who have already taken part.
Kadar said with participants’ help, BBBS was able to raise over $2,100 to support its proactive mentoring programs aimed at helping ignite power and potential of local youth.
The event has been such a success, she said, they have decided to extend the deadline to allow for more people to take part.
Now, anyone who participates by 12 a.m. on June 15 will receive their medal in the mail.
Registration is available online at raceroster.com (https://raceroster.com/events/2020/31592/5k-your-way).
Working through the challenges of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Kadar noted, has been a learning experience for everyone.
“Everything has changed to a virtual platform,” she said. “Through BBBS we run mentoring programs, and we’re really trying to focus on what our messaging is and keying in on connecting youth with an adult, or teen and development of relationships to help them through this time.”
She noted a pen pal program has been created in lieu of its in-school mentoring program to keep children and teenagers connected.
“Then with our community-based programs with adults and littles, we are doing socially-distanced activities and also connecting virtually — whether Skype or Zoom — gardening together, activities like that, and we are now in the process of working on launching virtual Game On and Go Girls groups, that focus on healthy living, active living, balanced eating.”
The Game On and Go Girls groups are slated to be launched late June or early July, Kadar said.
“So far it’s been pretty good [transitioning programs],” Kadar said.
“It’s obviously tough for everyone. Our clients miss seeing their mentees, and miss having their mentees come visit them every week but we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback. Even something as simple as touching base every week can make their whole week. Despite those challenges, staying connected is the most important thing.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ major Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser, meanwhile, originally scheduled for March 27, April 3 and April 4, has been postponed due to COVID-19.
“This has been a very difficult decision, as this is our most important fundraiser of the year,” Kadar said, adding last year’s event raised more than $50,000 for youth in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. “As soon as it is deemed safe we will announce the re-scheduled dates for the fundraiser in both Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.”
In return for supporting the Bowl for Kids Sake fundraising efforts, BBBSWL will be awarding a $300 gift card to the team leader who has raised the most pledges to date.
Running tallies of pledges will also be recorded for each team and go toward prizes for the event, even if participants are unable to bowl this year.
For pledge book drop off, BBBS is located in Williams Lake at 369 Oliver St. #200, V2G1M4 and in 100 Mile House at 372 Taylor Way, V0K2E0.
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.