No bottle drive. No subscription selling.
The Vernon Vipers U15 Tier 2 hockey squad spent Saturday, Oct. 30, raising team funds by becoming firesmart and helping out a Vernon neighbourhood.
The Vipers squad, coached by Vernon firefighter Jodie Bradley, held a Firesmart Yardwork fundraiser, the brainchild of team fundraising coordinator Carly Gare.
“With the summer fires in mind, I thought the Firesmart Yardwork event would be a good idea and it was a success,” said Gare. “In addition to raising money for the team, the kids and our awesome group of volunteer parents worked together outside for team bonding, reducing fire risk in Canadian Lakeview Estates and contributing to the neighbourhood’s Firesmart recognition certification.”’
Canadian Lakeview Estates was a neighbourhood ordered evacuated this summer due to the White Rock Lake wildfire.
The team asked for a minimum donation per hour based on the amount of people working per yard, but Gare said most residents bumped it up substantially and all were absolutely thrilled with it which, in addition to the cause, feels so good to hear and be a part of, she said.
“I still have goosebumps from my last phone call with a resident who was so happy,” said Gare. “A lot of these home owners are older too..that’s a lot for them and it felt great to help.”
One resident told the team, “What a crew! They did a fantastic job – we are so happy. Thanks again for this and do it again next year.”
Primarily the players and volunteers were raking pine needles and debris but some homes also required branch trimming and removal.
Having a fireman coach on board was extremely helpful and reassuring. Bradley just had shoulder surgery but was a big help and out there with everyone the entire time.
“The event was creative and worthwhile especially given the past fire season and proximity to the residents of Vernon,” said Bradley. “It was a great way to offer some assistance to our neighbours while educating our players. Best team building/fundraising event that should become commonplace for other sports teams. It’s not just a hand out or asking people to buy something they really don’t want. It is helping people make their properties safer. Win win.”