Organizers are now considering better security at their fundraisers for childhood cancer research following an attempted theft this past weekend in Saskatoon.
The third annual “Small But Mighty YXE” gold walk was starting up at River Landing at around 1 p.m. CT on Sept. 10, when there was a commotion.
Organizer Carolyn Anderson said a man must have stood behind the couple who was managing the donation table and then quickly grabbed the cash box and ran.
“Instantly, people took off running after the money,” Anderson said.
“People were very passionate about that money and where it was going and so they ran after the guy … they were able to get the money and wait for the police.”
Bystanders detained a 17-year-old boy until officers arrived.
Saskatoon police said the teen threatened at least one individual with a pair of pliers.
The teenager was arrested and is facing charges of assault with a weapon, uttering threats, theft and breach of probation. Police said even though there was no actual physical assault, the assault with a weapon charge is the same.
Anderson said between $1,200 and $1,300 was inside the cash box at the time.
“Everybody cheered when the cash box got back,” she said.
“It [had] a lot of credit card information, cheques and just a lot of really personal details in there already so we’re just so relieved to have that money back in our hands and it can go to where it should be going, where the research is needed.”
Anderson is the mother of Micah, 13, who was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in 2013 but is now cancer free after successful treatment.
“A lot of us are either parents of children with cancer or family members or friends so it was participants, it was people in our group that ran and retrieved the money,” Anderson said.
“That money [is] so important because we are raising money for research and every dollar counts because the amount that is given to childhood cancer research is so incredibly low.”
Organizers said they have never had problems like this before.
“We’re going to look into how to protect ourselves a bit better. We had no clue that anything like this would happen so now we’re aware, now we will take steps to protect ourselves,” Anderson said.
“We will not stop that’s for sure. We are passionate about raising awareness and money for research so we will definitely be keeping on.”
The event had a turnout of 430 people and raised over $8,000. Last year, more than $25,000 was raised.
To donate, visit the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation online.
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