When pennies were phased out, one local daycare raked them in. Sonshine Children’s Centre in Invermere planned a penny drive fundraiser that would run until the end of February and hasn’t seen the generousity stop since beginning the “Pennies Phase Out – We Play Out” campaign.
“We’ve continued to fundraise,” Sonshine Children’s Centre manager Cherie Hagen told The Valley Echo. “We put it out to the community to help us bring in pennies, and we’ve had overwhelming support from a multitude of businesses that have put buckets at their locations until February, and some still have them.”
Tackling the approximate $35,000 cost of a new play structure for the daycare, $1,685 has been raised in pennies alone.
“That’s a lot of money for pennies, and it’s still coming in,” she said.
But the children’s centre still has around $16,000 of fundraising to do before purchasing the structure, which will be geared for children between ages two and five.
“We would love to purchase and install it for the children to start enjoying it by July,” Hagen said.
In addition to the penny drive, fundraising has been supported through methods such as Sobeys cards, bottle depot collection, and cookie and flower sales. The daycare has also applied for several grants.
Their next fundraising event, a yard sale, will take place on Saturday, June 8th from 9 a.m. until noon in front of Sonshine and the Lake Windermere Alliance Church on 10th Avenue across from Sobeys.
Once the target amount is achieved, it’s just a matter of getting the rocks and materials needed for installing the play structure, Hagen said.