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Lethbridge non-profits face fundraising challenges

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Lethbridge non-profits face fundraising challenges
This time of year is when many non-profits ramp up their fundraising efforts, but lately many of their mainstay fundraising events are having to be postponed or cancelled. Quinn Campbell takes a closer look at what's behind the cancellations and their impact. – Jun 5, 2023

Cancelled fundraising events is becoming a common theme this summer in Lethbridge.

“We just didn’t see the ticket sales picking up, so that really forced us into the decision,” said Lethbridge Rotary LobsterFest committee member Kimberlee Davis. “In the end the risk was too great.

“We are a non-profit and to invest in live lobsters flown in from Nova Scotia is a significant cost — and if we didn’t get those ticket numbers up that would have been concerning.”

Davis added feedback showed community members have an appetite for something different, along with juggling inflation and affordability concerns.

“Because the cost of everything went up, we had to raise our ticket prices this year,” Davis said. “I think there was a combination… that our tickets were more expensive and people don’t have as much disposable income to spend on those type of events.”

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Davis said her organization is now pivoting, selling the silent auction items they had collected for LobsterFest online. The details are still being worked out but the auction will start June 22 and run until June 29.

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The money raised will go towards the Chinook Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

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“We partnered with Kastner Auctions here in Lethbridge and they are going to host an online auction,” added Davis. She said details will be available on the Lethbridge Rotary LobsterFest Facebook page and the auction will go live online at kauctions.ca.

Other cancelled events include the YWCA Turning Point Classic Golf Tournament and the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge’s 100 Mile Dinner.

More fundraisers are making adjustments to their still-scheduled events.

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Lorien Johansen with the Lethbridge Terry Fox Run said they are strategizing to make their efforts a success.

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“We just may not be able to do all the things we want to do — a free barbecue for all of our participants and swag bags with gifts — because we know that not only are non-profits, but businesses, small businesses, national businesses are dealing with an economic situation that makes giving away things untenable,” she said.

The Lethbridge Terry Fox Run has a couple of bottle drives planned over the summer to help raise funds, which will be posted on the Lethbridge Terry Fox Run Facebook page.

They will also be at a community farmers market on Sept. 9, and taking part in this years Whoop Up Days Parade. Then its the big event, the Terry Fox Run which is Sept. 17 at Legacy Park.

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Johansen said the Terry Fox Run will go ahead in Lethbridge no matter what, but if you are unable to pledge or donate money, the next best thing is showing up to show your support to let the non-profits know you appreciate their hard work.

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