Airdrie curling fans can meet one of the sport’s most recognized athletes Nov. 22 – while supporting a local charity at the same time – when Fionn MacCool’s in CrossIron Mills mall hosts a meet-and-greet with Canada skip Chelsea Carey from 3 to 7 p.m.
According to pub owner Curtis Spitula, Carey will be at the establishment to chat with fans and raise funds for KidSport Calgary.
“Some of my best memories as a kid were playing sports and making friends through sport,” Carey said. “The idea that someone wouldn’t be able to do that at a young age, I find incredibly sad and unfair. I want for every kid to have the opportunity to have the same awesome childhood that I did, playing sports and making friends.”
Established in 1993, KidSport partners with local corporations and sporting organizations to raise funds to reduce financial barriers that prevent children from participating in organized sports.
Though based in Calgary, the charity’s reach in Airdrie has grown considerably since 2014, distributing funds to nearly 1,000 youth in the city in the last five years. According to KidSport’s most recent Impact Report, the charity distributed nearly $43,000 to Airdrie families in 2018, helping 252 kids sign up for the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association, the Airdrie and District Soccer Association, the Airdrie Edge Gymnastics Club, Airdrie Little League and others.
“[The charity] gives opportunities to disadvantaged kids to play all sports, especially ones that have higher costs and associated fees,” Spitula said. “Things like minor hockey are typically not the most affordable to families on a budget, in this day and age.”
Carey, a native of Winnipeg, Man., is a two-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner – Canada’s national women’s curling championships. She also competed as Canada’s skip at two world championships, where in 2016 she led Canada to a fourth-place finish.
“We’re encouraging our guests, if they want to bring in any Team Canada memorabilia, or if they’re curling fans and have anything curling-related, they’re welcome to bring that in,” Spitula said.
The informal meet-and-greet will also include door prizes, according to Spitula, such as a Calgary Flames jersey signed by Sean Monahan and possibly a fridge from Big Rock Brewery.“Big Rock will have five of their beers featured all weekend, and on those beers, we’ll be donating $1 from every pint towards KidSport, as well,” he said.