Anyone who knows anything about Yellowknife will know that it’s a community which always looks after its own when it comes to fundraising or donations.

That includes the JumpStart program, operated by Canadian Tire, and the Yellowknife location has come through in a big way.

The month of September saw JumpStart have its big fundraising drive with every location around the country offering customers the chance to give at the till when they check out. The results of how each store performed came out earlier this month and Yellowknife ended up as the top store in the Alberta-British Columbia-NWT region in terms of percentage of customers giving.

“We were No. 1 in what’s called the conversion rate, the number of customers who gave at the till,” said Jason Butorac, co-owner of the Yellowknife store. “We had 18 per cent of people giving a donation of any amount per day.”

It’s the first time the Yellowknife location has won the fundraising competition, he added.

The amount raised between Sept. 1 and 30 was $6,100 but the conversion rate is what took the store over the top. Because of that, the store will receive a bonus prize of $10,000, which Karen Butorac said will go right back into JumpStart in the NWT.

“All of our money was locally-raised and all of the money stays here,” she said. “Normally, the JumpStart month is in June but it got pushed back to September because of Covid-19.”

The results were announced last week and the money should be arriving any day, she added.

Jason Butorac said had it come down to total money raised, it would have been no contest.

“There are stores down in Alberta where there’s around 3,000 or so customers going through every day,” he said. “By contrast, we see around 800 per day and we couldn’t compete with that but this is a city which loves helping out. You can tell there’s a love of the community here.”

The Butoracs were also the driving force behind construction of the JumpStart playground at Somba K’e Park.

JumpStart allows families in need of assistance to apply for up to $300 twice per year per child to help pay for registrations, equipment or transportation costs in their chosen recreation program. It’s similar to KidSport NWT, which also offers the same amount over the same time frame for the same reasons.

Karen Butorac said just because you receive help from one doesn’t mean you can’t get help from the other.

“A lot of people don’t realize that,” she said. “You can receive money from both for whatever it is your child is doing. It’s all about giving kids a chance to take part.”

She is also the chapter chair for JumpStart in the NWT and said she would like to see more families apply to get help.

“A lot of people didn’t know that we provide assistance here and so we’re pounding the drum, so to speak,” she said. “When we moved here, it was just a handful of kids who got help but now, we’re at hundreds of kids and we want to help more. There’s a lot of money in the account to be used and we want to hit this hard so everyone can take advantage of it.”

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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