KidSport Vernon’s Becky Berbilis (centre) receives $1,280 from The Rise Community Association president Rick Putz (left) and communiciations chairperson Randy Smith as a way for the association to give back to the community. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

The Rise raises KidSport Vernon’s coffers

Community association donates nearly $1,300 to local organization

The Rise Community Association (RCA) wanted to give back to the community and get its name out in the North Okanagan. The benefactor is an organization that does so much, sports-wise, for area families.

The RCA recently presented a cheque for $1,280 to Becky Birbilis of KidSport Vernon.

“We decided to give back to the local community by supporting a not-for-profit charitable organization,” said Randy Smith, communications and social chairperson for the RCA. “We did this by holding a silent auction at both our annual general meeting and Christmas Dinner functions.”

“Gift baskets were most generously donated by not only local businesses but also RCA members. The community collected bottles and cans during the year from residents that added to our total raised.”

RELATED: KidSport charity run on tap

RCA president Rick Putz said the board of directors selected KidSport to be the recipient.

“Rise members are generally empty-nesters who understand the cost of putting children through various sporting programs, which are very important in the child’s development,” said Putz. “Many young families cannot afford this cost and through KidSport, many children are encouraged to participate in a wide range of sporting events.”

KidSport pays sports association registration fees for families who can’t afford to.

The Greater Vernon chapter covers Cherryville to Grindrod and, in 2018, the organization paid out $24,300 in registration fees which assisted 174 athletes to participate in hockey, ringette, lacrosse, volleyball, figure skating, basketball, gymnastics, football, track and field, synchronized swimming, swimming, taekwondo, fencing, soccer and skiing.

“One-third of our funds assist soccer athletes,” said Birbilis, who has also received support from the likes of Deanna and Jeremy Meredith at CrossFit Vernon, who donated to KidSport after its Christmas Throwdown event at their facility.

The Seaton Alumni Volleyball Games’ organizing committee donated a portion of proceeds from its 50/50 and admission fees while KidSport Vernon also received a donation from the Gordon and Jean Steele Foundation.

KidSport has also partnered with the Vernon Vipers to promote its Choose A Seat program where, for a donation of $225, you can get a small plaque put on a seat at Kal Tire Place.

“I’ve been working with the amazing and talented Brenda Stewart, the Vipers’ community relations coordinator, on this program, and new owner John (Glen) has invited KidSport to any Vipers home game that we would like to have a table set up to receive cash donations and to answer any questions with regards to the Choose A Seat program.”

Along with the Vipers, KidSport Vernon will work again in May with the Leos organizations (Junior Lions) at its annual drive-through pancake breakfast.

RELATED: Breakfast supports KidSport

Donations to KidSport Vernon can be made online at

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