Oshawa Express: Paying It Forward With Sport


By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
A national fundraising initiative culminated on Feb. 25 as Their Opportunity, in partnership with local schools and organizations, filled the Civic Fieldhouse with local students to celebrate the finale of their Dimes 4 Time campaign.

The initiative, Dimes 4 Time, which ran from Jan. 11 and came to a close on Feb. 19, involved local students from approximately 20 different schools in Durham Region and 20,000 people over the six-week program and saw students collecting change in their classrooms to be put toward helping less fortunate children play sports.

Randy Gill, president and CEO of Their Opportunity, said the event was an overwhelming success and well on its way to reaching the $12,000 fundraising plateau. The hope was to surpass the $11,000 raised last year.

For Gill, he says its about fostering what he calls a “cycle of generosity” in young kids.

“They can be the change for someone else,” he says. “This idea of this cycle of generosity is what we’re trying to promote to kids, that they can take a kind thought and turn it into a kind action and it will turn into an avalanche of generosity.”

The Dimes 4 Time event is the brainchild of Oshawa student Jake Moores, who started his initiative five years ago which then quickly drew the attention of Their Opportunity and has since expanded to include fundraising efforts across the country. Their Opportunity also has chapters in Ottawa and Calgary.

For Noel Coppins, a representative with presenting sponsor RE/MAX Jazz in Oshawa, the event is just the type of community initiative the city needs.

“We are a community based company…and so to see something like this that’s a pay forward program, that gets the kids involved in helping out their fellow children in their own community to get involved in sport, to learn those important, valuable lessons that come from team elements, we just think it’s absolutely fantastic,” she says.

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