News

Nanaimo gym gives coin campaign a lift

Jacki Gunn, left, and Sheri Davidson of Northridge Health Performance Centre update their Pennies for Presents donation jar with new graphics for the Coins for Kids campaign. The fitness facility is a longtime supporter and donation drop off point for the annual drive to help put presents under Christmas trees.  - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
Jacki Gunn, left, and Sheri Davidson of Northridge Health Performance Centre update their Pennies for Presents donation jar with new graphics for the Coins for Kids campaign. The fitness facility is a longtime supporter and donation drop off point for the annual drive to help put presents under Christmas trees.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

A holiday tradition continues as Northridge Health Performance Centre again is a participant of the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Black Press Christmas coin drive campaign.

General manager Rae Jung estimates Northridge was one of the first businesses that joined the Pennies for Presents campaign, which was renamed Coins for Kids this year.

“I actually contacted the person that was organizing at the time because I saw the writeup about it in the paper. We’re a fitness facility, we’re open from 5:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. so I thought, ‘The Bulletin is not open for that many hours, maybe we should call them and see if they could use some help collecting money because we’re open and pretty convenient in the north end,” said Jung.

Coins for Kids collects donations of spare change from the community and donates the money to three charities that support children at Christmas – the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army.

Jung said the money goes to a good cause and Northridge Health Performance Centre’s clients are from the community, so why not help their client base?

“We’re a community wellness centre, so we just want to be a part of helping out in the community,” Jung said.

People have been generous to the campaign throughout the years and while people are still bringing their change this year, Jung has noticed that the phasing out of the penny has led to a little less in the donation box.

“Unfortunately this year, it seems it’s a little bit of a different story with the penny being gone, so we haven’t been collecting as much this year, it seems,” Jung said.

Pennies are still being accepted despite being phased out and people can donate the copper coins, along with nickels, quarters and even loonies and toonies at participating dealers as the campaign runs until Dec. 19.

Coin drop locations include the Nanaimo News Bulletin office (777 Poplar St.) InPrint, John’s Bedroom Barn, Sink or Swim Scuba, La-Z-Boy, Royal LePage (Brooks Landing), Coast Realty (Downtown), ICBC Driver Licensing Centre on Metral Drive, Cline Medical Centre, Canadian Tire and Quality Foods (University Village).

The campaign began in 1996 and since its inception, more than $160,000 has been raised in the Nanaimo area.

Organizers are hoping to surpass the $8,100 that was raised last year. The campaign wraps up Dec. 19.

For more information, please call 250-753-3707.

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