With a goal of raising $25,000 for youth mental health programs ahead of the Jan. 7 game, the Lloydminster Bobcats have surpassed the target.
On Thursday, a donation from United Way Lloydminster pushed the fundraiser over $30,000 for recipients the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF) and Project Sunrise. The drive is still ongoing in the lead up to Saturday’s puck drop at the Centennial Civic Centre.
A post on the Bobcats social media indicates that players and staff will be getting buzz cuts immediately after Saturday’s game in keeping with the challenge the players had laid down in the fall.
Forward Jayven Leslie is grateful for all the community support and the input of the United Way.
“They came in today with a blank cheque and said,”What do you guys need?” And then we said,”Two thousand dollars.” And they said,”If your coaches shave their heads too, we will do an extra five (thousand).” You what, United Way, they really helped us carry along this entire thing. They were a huge part of us making our goal. We can’t thank Tricia Hunter and the entire United Way team enough. They were unbelievable.”
A previous United Way donation in December makes the overall total about $12,000 coming from the not-for-profit in support of mental health programs.
Leslie says in earlier discussions with the LRHF’s CEO Stephanie Munro they had identified the need to support mental health programing at both Lloydminster school divisions.
“The Lloydminster Public and the Lloydminster Catholic school divisions could use a little bit more help in funding for their mental health departments in their divisions. So, Stephanie (Munro) asked if we would be willing to put the money towards mental health in the school divisions and I was all for it. I wanted the money to go towards mental health and Stephanie found a place for it to go and I couldn’t be happier with what we are doing here.”
Leslie spearheaded the mental health fundraiser effort for the Bobcats back in the fall and is grateful for all the community support.
“The community has been great to us. The community really got behind us and got behind this initiative. We had lots of big donors. We had lots of small donors. We had lots of people who wanted to be a part of what we have accomplished and we could not be happier.”
The links for Buzz the Bobcats are still available on social media connecting to the LRHF page for residents who wish to continue donating.