Local optimist junior curlers helped pay their own way by raising pledge money and participating in the Optimist Walk for Youth recently.
For their efforts, the kids were given free hotdogs, free hot chocolate, and a free skate with a donation to the food bank.
Seventy-five per cent of the money they raised came back to them in a formal cheque presentation in a break during league play at the Langley Curling Centre.
After modest expenses, the Optimists donated the remaining 25 per cent back to non-profit groups in the community.
Also, each registered group was entered in a bonus draw. The winner of the bonus draw received a donation matching the pledge funds they raised.
Each year, on Nov. 11, some groups register for this event as their major fundraiser. Whether they are raising money for team uniforms, musical equipment or an end of year event, 75 per cent of all funds raised is returned to the group.
This year was the 35th annual Optimist Walk for Youth in conjunction with the annual Optimist Free Skate.
Optimists are delighted to work for the good of the community with many youth groups.
Among other youth groups, cheques were presented to Optimist Junior Interclub Curling League â€“ $457; Delta Thistle Junior Curling â€“ $323; Peace Arch Junior Curling â€“ $825; Royal City Junior Curling â€“ $150 and; Coquitlam Junior Curling â€“ $300.
About the league
The Optimist Junior Interclub Curling League (OJI) was formed in 1989 to supplement the development of junior curlers and to promote the sport of curling through a Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley league.
Participating teams have since joined us from Seattle, Kamloops and Nanaimo. Over 25 years, this successful program has grown to 44 teams and provided 3,000 kid-years of fun.
OJI Division 11 plays out of various curling centres in the East Kootenays.
OJI accommodates teams of all skill levels, separated into five or more divisions on Saturdays or Sundays from mid-October to culmination in a weekend of playoffs in early March.
A block system that rotates every three games is used to match teams and challenge them in their own skill level.
A team may consist of any combination of junior or juvenile boys or girls.
Active participation by team coaches is an integral part of Optimist Junior Interclub.
Coaches are encouraged to participate by role modeling ethics, coaching fair play and teaching technical and tactical aspects of the sport.
As the National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) motto says: â€œEvery athlete deserves a certified coach.â€