As the Alberta 2020 Winter Games approaches, Airdrie 2020 still needs to raise a significant amount of money to reach its goal.
“The operating budget is about $1.7 million and we’re trying to raise about $300,000 of that to host the Games,” said Christie Jensen, a spokesperson for Airdrie 2020.
Jensen said she is optimistic the group will raise the money in time through various fundraisers and sponsors. She said much of the costs for the Games are associated with feeding and housing athletes.
“We’re confident – it’s eight months away. It’s still a big goal and we understand our economy is weaker, but hosting the games will bring such an economic boost to the city,” she said.
To fulfill its funding goal, Airdrie 2020 is hoping to see increased support from sponsors and the community. In particular, Jensen said she’d like to see more support from local businesses and stressed the impact the Games will have on them.
“[Participants and attendees] will be going to our restaurants and going to our coffee shops and going to the stores while they wait for their sports.... That will bring a lot of money into our community, which is needed,” she said.
Jensen added Airdrie 2020 will host several fundraisers and events in the upcoming months. One such events is a partnership with the mayor’s annual charity golf tournament, Golf 4 Gold.
Mayor Peter Brown said in a statement he decided to host the first of what he hopes will become an annual charity golf tournament to capitalize on his position and help raise funds for the community.
“Like the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast where we give 100 per cent of the residuals to non-profits, we thought using the mayor’s name on this golf tournament could increase that in a larger way,” Brown said. “When you’re in tough economic times, every little bit helps.”
The golf tournament takes place at the Woodside Golf Course July 19, and registration costs $350 for a twosome and $650 for a foursome. Entry includes lunch, access to the driving range, 18-holes of golf, cart rental and prizes, according to the release. Registration begins at noon with tee off set for around 1:30 p.m. A roast beef dinner and prizes will follow from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
The Alberta Winter Games, according to Jensen, have not been held in the region for nearly two decades and will bring 3,000 athletes, their coaches and chaperons to Airdrie from Feb. 14 to 17, 2019, to compete in 23 different sports.