Donor fatigue has hurt the 2014 BC Seniors Games, forcing organizers to seek financial help from both Langleys.
Milt Kruger, president of the Langley 2014 B.C. Seniors Games Society, said it has been “very difficult” to secure local sponsorship in the wake of the 2013 BC Special Olympics Summer Games and the 2010 BC Summer Games, both held in Langley with support from local businesses.
“Our fundraisers are finding that our local business community is showing signs of fatigue with respect to the sponsorship of major events,” Kruger said in a letter to the Township and City councils asking for help to cover an projected $75,000 shortfall.
The society was asking for $60,000 from the Township and $15,000 from the City in the form of a cash advance, which could be partially refunded if more sponsors are found.
The most recent Seniors Games in 2013 were underwritten by the host city of Kamloops through their “Tournament Capital” sports tourism initiative, Kruger noted.
On Monday, June 9, both Langley councils approved the bailout.
At the Township meeting, Councillor Bev Dornan was one of several who spoke in favour of the cash advance, saying “we should be there to help them [the society] get through these difficult times.
At the Langley City meeting, Councillor Gayle Martin said it was “very disappointing that some of this could not have been seen when the board of directors were putting their budget together.”
The latest contributions bring the estimated total donated by both Langleys to almost $200,000, $152,000 from the Township and $27,000 from the City.
That doesn’t include the cost of cutting rental rates in half for Township facilities like the Langley Events Centre.
The thousands of athletes who will compete in B.C. Senior Games held Sept. 9-13 were expected to produce an estimated $2 million in economic activity by the participating seniors, according to the B.C. Seniors Games Society.
– with files from Alyssa O’Dell