On Nov. 14, 2020 members of Sault Legion Hap Ki Do participated in a kickathon, which took place at their home base - Sault Ste. Marie Legion Branch 25.
There were 20 participants who went above and beyond to raise a total of $4,442.60 in pledges once all were collected.
These funds were donated to Sault Ste. Marie Legion Branch 25 in a ceremony at the Branch on Dec. 18, 2020 to help with day-to-day expenditures during the downturn in revenues which the COVID restrictions have caused.
Generally revenues generated from the bar and hall rentals are the driving force that keeps many Legion branches across Canada up and running.
Since Branch 25 is no different and most other fundraising efforts can not be used for overhead, the kickathon was undertaken as a special initiative.
"Our mandate is to use these other funds for the benefit of our Veterans and the community. So, knowing that Legion branches across the nation are forced to close their doors for keeps, the martial arts group we run decided to raise funds for the branch itself. If we don’t keep our doors open, many Veterans, and our community itself, will suffer," said Rudy Timmerman, sports chair for Legion Branch 25.
In an effort to help more of his students understand the concept and significance of what the Legion Hap Ki Do is all about the presentation was made during their Christmas celebration/promotion event. It's not always about the kicking and punching.
"At the Legion Hap Ki Do club, we pride ourselves on teaching our students about the values of good citizenships and leading a healthy lifestyle. We work hard to raise funds year round, we do repair work at the local branch, our instructors are very involved in Legion affairs, we visit the elderly at homes for the aged (when that was allowed), and we do this because we strongly believe in the good things the Legion branch does for our Veterans and the community. Everyone here volunteers," Timmerman said.
One of Timmerman's proudest moments was for the participation of Stacey Estabrooks and her 6-year-old son Jack.
Together they raised $500 and each did 1,000 kicks.
This is such a large undertaking for such a young boy but Timmerman believes that this demonstrates their program to teach good citizenship is working.
The Sault Legion Branch 25 believes their partnership with Sault Legion Hap Ki Do is a win win situation. After the presentation of the funds raised during the kickathon the Legion executive made their own presentation to the club of a much needed training mat to help young and new trainees build confidence and learn their falls.