Community Papers

Celebs sweat for kids

Thompson Rivers University MBA student Natalie Peace and 97.5 The River-Radio NL on-air personality Matt Bellamy are getting pumped for this year’s Kamloops YMCA-YWCA Strong Kids Fitness Challenge. Local celebrities are putting their best efforts on the line to help raise money for the Y. - DAVE EAGLES/KTW
Thompson Rivers University MBA student Natalie Peace and 97.5 The River-Radio NL on-air personality Matt Bellamy are getting pumped for this year’s Kamloops YMCA-YWCA Strong Kids Fitness Challenge. Local celebrities are putting their best efforts on the line to help raise money for the Y.
— image credit: DAVE EAGLES/KTW

A dozen Kamloops celebrities will strap on their running shoes and hit the gym this month as the Kamloops YMCA-YWCA kicks off its annual Strong Kids fundraiser.

The campaign raises money to send children to summer camp and provide swimming lessons and other fitness opportunities to kids and their families.

Campaign co-ordinator Darcy Harris said more than 400 kids and 1,200 people applied for financial aid to take part in Y programming last year.

“The Strong Kids fundraiser is our most important fundraiser to ensure access to everyone — and, often, it’s those families that are struggling who need Y programming the most.”

Harris said Y programs help kids and families stay healthy, “and doing things other than watching video games on the weekend.”

This year, the goal is to raise at least $60,000.

Last year’s Strong Kids events raised more than $73,000.

Harris said a donation of $300 will send a child to the YMCA-YWCA’s camp in the Cariboo, while $25 pays for a girl to attend its Power of Being a Girl conference.

The Strong Kids Challenge pits politicians, business leaders and a few local media personalities against each other in a 19-day sweat-off.

Each works toward a fitness goal while raising money.

Last year, nine local notables signed up for the challenge. All  are returning this year.

Other events in this year’s campaign include the Fit for Fundz Zumbathon on March 2 at St. Ann’s  Academy.

Participants can take in a round of zumba at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 7 p.m. with a $10 donation.

Donors can also visit the downtown Y between Feb. 21 and March 2 and toss a toonie into the pool.

“Our lifeguards and swimming instructors will dive for the toonies and we collect them in a big jar,” Harris said.

For more information on events or to track the progress of this year’s challengers, visit

kamloopsy.org.

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