It’s pretty incredible for Humboldt to have produced two Olympic athletes, and they wanted to show their support.
Staging Canadell in Humboldt has made a $5,000 donation to the local Rush for Gold campaign which supports Olympic athletes Brianne Theisen (heptathlon) and Lyndon Rush (bobsleigh).
“We both really feel that they are incredible athletes and that they don’t get enough support,” said Denise Seidle, co-owner of Staging Canadell, speaking on behalf of herself and her business partner Eric Von Doellen.
It takes time and effort to get to the level where these athletes can compete at the Olympics, she continued, and they don’t get enough financial support along the way.
“We want to say we’re proud of them,” Seidle said, for working hard and gaining the opportunity to represent our country at the Olympic games.
Rush represented Canada at the 2010 Olympics, winning a bronze medal, and is training hard right now for the 2014 games in Russia. Theisen recently qualified for the 2012 Olympic games in London, and will be competing there in just a couple of weeks.
As Canadians, Seidle said, we should all recognize the real cost to our athletes, to be there and represent us.
This donation is the first major cash donation for the Rush for Gold campaign, which started last fall, but really got rolling this summer.
The goal of the committee is to raise as much money as possible for these athletes, to help them with their expenses as they train to represent Canada at the Olympic Games.
Both Rush and Theisen hail from Humboldt.
Von Doellen explained the template his company uses to decide on donations to various charities.
First, he said, they like to donate money locally, and they like transparency within the charity, so they know their funds are really reaching those they want it to.
They also like to see their donation have an impact, he said, and not be just a drop in the bucket.
“These are two great people from the community to invest in,” he concluded.
Both Von Doellen and Seidle hope that this donation is the first of many to be made to this campaign by other businesses in the community.
“I hope that people will recognize that we see this as a worthy cause, and they will as well,” Seidle said.
“I think these two people are an inspiration,” Von Doellen said. “Anyone who becomes the best in the world at what they do is admirable.”
He thinks Rush and Theisen will have an impact on the youth of Humboldt as well.
“Who better to motivate them to reach their goals than two Olympic athletes?” he asked.
“This is certainly a wonderful kick-off for our cash donations,” said Rush for Gold committee chair Michelle Bankowski after receiving the cheque.
“This will have a major impact,” she said. “And I think this demonstrates that there is a tremendous amount of support out there for these champions.”
Preliminary numbers from the Rush for Gold committee show they are close to raising $12,000 for the two athletes.
Bankowski’s goal is to raise a minimum of $75,000. To that end, they are holding a 24-hour run event in September, which will feature a visit from both Rush and Theisen.
“I want to encourage the community to continue to get behind our athletes,” she said.
To make a donation, visit rushforgold.ca, Diamonds of Detroit, Causeway Natural Health or Conexus in Humboldt.