KidSport holding a ‘toilet challenge’ to raise funds and awareness
Stephen Tipper, multimedia editor
Monday, December 1, 2014 12:17:29 MST PM

Lee Markert, a member of the Vulcan County Kidsport Committee, gets some help from Colleen Carey, committee chair, in moving the “Toilet Challenge” bowl from the Co-operators down to Shearer Agencies Friday afternoon, when temperatures dipped as low as about -20C, with the windchill making it feel even colder. The challenge is part of an effort to raise awareness and funds for KidSport, which helps disadvantaged children get involved in sports. Simon Ducatel Vulcan Advocate

For a good cause, local residents and businesses will have to pay to get a brightly-decorated toilet off their property Nov. 27-Dec. 1.

KidSport Vulcan County will be placing the “loud, in your-face” toilet to raise awareness of the organization and some money, too, said Colleen Carey, chair of the local KidSport committee.

The “Toilet Challenge” starts Nov. 28 — Black Friday. KidSport plans to place the toilet in front of Vulcan Prairieview Elementary school that morning, to raise awareness, and it will be put in front of downtown businesses the rest of the day, said Carey.

People can pay to put toilet at someone’s business or on their lawn or pay to have it taken off, each at a cost of $10. People can also buy insurance, at a cost of $20, so that the toilet is never placed at a person’s business or home, she said.

The Toilet Challenge is meant as a bit of fun, and the toilet will be removed if a person doesn’t want to participate, Carey said.

People fill out request cards to place the toilet in front of a specific residence or business. They can fill out these cards in advance, said Carey.

“If we can raise a bit of money, that would be great,” she said. “It’s about awareness, reminding people KidSport is in the county and why we’re here.”

In the future, the local KidSport committee would like to run the Toilet Challenge in each village in the county, she said.

Carey had heard about this toilet challenge idea a number of years ago and thought it would it would be fun to try out.

“Quite a while ago another KidSport community did this,” she said, adding other groups have also organized a toilet challenge.

KidSport’s primary focus is raising funds to pay for registration fees, and the organization will cover up to $300 per child per year if a family is eligible, said Carey.

The organization can cover registration fees for whatever sport a family requests, as long as it’s organized sport, she said. Parents need to show proof of income, or, as many do, they can have a KidSport-approved adjudicator sign off on this, said Carey. KidSport uses Revenue Canada low income tables to determine eligibility and pays the registration fees directly to the sports organization, she said.

“We understand that circumstances change too,” added Carey.

The local KidSport chapter has found the most popular sports it pays registration fees for are hockey, soccer, figure skating and dance. KidSport is also approached to pay for swimming lesssons, which can be covered, she said.

Carey wants to see KidSport’s funds being spent rather than sitting in a bank account.

“We really see when we do more awareness that we get more applications,” she said.

To participate, request cards can be picked up at the Cooperators Vulcan office, 217 Centre St., where Carey works, and the Town of Vulcan’s recreation office, located at the Town office, 321 Second St. S. The cards can then be dropped at the Cooperators.

If people donate $25 or more, they are eligible for a tax receipt, Carey said.