DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: It was a banner year for Canadian Tire Jumpstart’s Uxbridge chapter with more than 500 local youths aided by the organization to enjoy recreation activities.
On Monday, Nov. 4, Canadian Tire Uxbridge owner Pat Higgins, and township staffers Amanda Ferraro and Rebecca Harman appeared before council to provide an annual update on the achievements of the Jumpstart program in Uxbridge Township, including the tremendous growth of the program since launching in 2005.
"It was a record year for us this year, and we were able to help a lot of youth in Uxbridge," Mr. Higgins said. "As well this year, we took over YMCA programming and added an after school program for Grades 8 to 11. It was a real breakthrough year, we’ve come a long way since 2005 when we helped 15 or so kids. It’s a real credit to Amanda and Rebecca, they’re the ones working to really make it happen."
Last year 543 local youths received support from Jumpstart totalling almost $43,000. Since the program began in 2005, there have been 1,055 local youth that have received almost $125,000 towards sport and recreation opportunities.
According to Mr. Higgins, the mandate of Jumpstart is to provide opportunities for all youth to enjoy sports and recreation as one in three Canadian youths are not financially able to take part in their chosen sport.
Funding for the local Jumpstart chapter comes from a variety of sources including, events put on by Canadian Tire, the annual Gary Roberts and Friends Celebrity golf tournament at Wooden Sticks, community events and contributions from local service clubs. Mr. Higgins added that 100 per cent of money raised in Uxbridge stays in Uxbridge.
Jumpstart funding helps those local youths involved in sustained programs that help them over time. Ms. Ferraro added that most programs funded through Jumpstart last at least 10 weeks with some even running year-round.
"Healthy communities are happy communities and there’s a real ripple effect," said Ms. Harman, noting the broad benefits of having active youth in the community.
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