Gymkyds picnic fundraiser fills in for cancelled Teddy Bears’ Picnic

The Teddy Bears’ Picnic may be cancelled this year, but that hasn’t stopped a generous gymnastics club from bringing people together to heal some hurt stuffed animals and raise money for a good cause.

Gymkyds held its third annual picnic fundraiser event Victoria Day at its 421 Beaverhill Blvd. facility. Owner Peggy Glassco said she was inspired to start the event in 2021 after many years of volunteering at the Teddy Bears Picnic at Assiniboine Park.

“When it got cancelled because of COVID, I thought this would be a really great opportunity for me to help give back still, get my coaches involved, and run a fundraising event for the Children’s Hospital,” Glassco said.

The club’s first event was virtual due to pandemic restrictions, but they were able to hold the picnic in person last year to great success. Glassco said they raised $3,000 in 2022, and are hoping to reach the $5,000 mark this year.

She’s confident they will do it. “Definitely a bigger crowd then last year, and we’ve kind of expanded what we’re doing too, so it’s been really fun,” said Glassco.

The all-day fundraiser offered food and drinks for kids, along with a medical treatment centre for injured teddy bears and other stuffies. The picnic also included face painting, bouncy houses, and a petting zoo.

Glassco said in addition to raising money for the Children’s Hospital, the event has been a great team-building exercise. “We’ve spent the last two months organizing this together, so I think that helps us bond as a group,” she said.

The success of this year’s picnic means plans for next year are already in the works. “We have a lot of kids that come to gymnastics,” Glassco said. “So to give back to that community and bring people in, it’s really fun to see.

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