The Sim family of Weyburn has been doing what they can to encourage fundraising for the Mending Little Hearts Foundation of Saskatchewan.
One of the ways they were recently able to do some fundraising for the organization was through a 50/50 raffle during a game last weekend for the U-18 Barber Motors Wings.
Eric and Twyla Sim's son Brasen, who was born with a heart condition, plays on the hockey team.
Eric said the team did all the work to make it happen, and the fundraiser got even better with the help of a generous ticket-holder.
"Don Bourassa began it and they wouldn't let me touch it," he noted. "They were just absolutely incredible. They sold the tickets. They advertised, and I sat in the stands and watched the game."
He said he was in the lobby with the winning ticket holder, Carla Kaufmann, when her number was called.
"She said, 'oh, I won the ticket', and she waved a little bit. And she, without even hesitation, she said, 'well, I should go show my husband that I got the winning ticket so that we can make arrangements to go and donate the money back', and I looked at her and I didn't know who she was, she didn't know who I was, and I I looked at her and it just came out of my mouth, and I said, 'you don't have to do that!' It just came out. She said, 'no, I'm just going to go donate the money back, me and my husband'.
"At the end of the game, my son was out in the ice and thanking the couple that had donated the money back. And I'm sitting behind the glass trying not to cry about it. Absolutely incredible."
In these financially strained times, it isn't often something like this happens. Furthermore, some patrons chose to donate extra, including those from Radville, so in all they ended up raising around $1,570 raised at that event.
The Sims said they are grateful for such a strong showing of support for the organization that helps children affected by congenital heart conditions.
Another fundraiser ongoing throughout February, which is Heart Health Month in Canada, is the Moule family baking and selling chocolate chip cookies. Read more HERE.
Twyla said Mending Little Hearts began as a pilot project many years ago, which was such a success it continued on as a research-based initiative aimed at providing services and supports for the heart kid and their families. Programming includes expertise from psychologists, dental hygienists, nutritionists, and others who are doing research in the background to help further the knowledge for improving congenital heart disease.
The organization, which is specific to our province, includes a team from the University Hospital and a pediatric cardiologist, kinesiologists, and others working together to perform the research and make the program happen.
It helps families know what's too much for their kids, and what is safe, in terms of activities they can do.
"There just wasn't information about that," she noted. "It's also provided families and the children with a support network because Brasen, never knew another heart kid. He thought he was the only child who had a heart condition. So now he's got all these other kids who he knows maybe had 13 surgeries and they're fine. It's a support system."
"It's allowed him to pretty much lead a normal life and being involved in all sorts of activities, so we just encourage support of this program. It's important and it's very close to our hearts, of course."