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Walmart donation will be used to establish free family skating program

$25K recipient Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre will buy skates, helmets and other equipment and rent arena ice time with the money.
walmart mmwtfc donation june 10 2022
Thompson Walmart manager Louie Schultz and other store employees present the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre with a $25,000 donation June 10.

Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre will be offering free skating twice a week next winter thanks to a sizable donation from Walmart Canada.

Employees from the Thompson store presented the friendship centre with a $25,000 cheque on June 10.

Every year, Walmart Canada gives out one $25,000 grant through one of its stores in the province, said Thompson store manager Louie Schultz. 

“We were chose as the one store for Manitoba Walmarts to get this honour,” he said at the cheque presentation. “We were very privileged to get to nominate them and be the $25,000 winner for the province.”

Ma-Mow-We-Tak has previously received $1,000 grants from Walmart Canada, which gives out half-a-dozen of those in the province every year.

Friendship centre assistant executive director Tanika Beebe-Brand said the money will be used to buy ice skates, helmets and skating aids as well as to rent ice time at the Thompson Regional Community Centre twice a week for free family skating.

“It’s so hard to find things to do in the community in the winter. It’s just an opportunity for families to get out. As a non-profit organization, this is what we do for a living. We are here for the community, We’re here to provide families with opportunities.”

The plan is to purchase skates in a range of sizes for everyone from three-year-olds to adults and to have multiple pairs in each size in an effort to accommodate as many people as possible.

Once the $25,000 has been spent, Ma-Mow-We-Tak will look at applying for funding elsewhere to continue renting the arena or just pay for that themselves.