'I actually cried': Cape Breton's Learn to Skate program receives $40,000 donation in sports gear
HALIFAX -- A sports store in Bridgewater, N.S., that was forced to close due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, decided to donate all of their leftover stock to a community group in Cape Breton.
South Shore Sports Excellence donated over $40,000 worth of sports gear to Nick Bonnar's program called Learn to Skate - a non-profit that helps Cape Breton children learn how to skate for free.
"We went out to pick it up and it took a truckload, a car load, and four more trips with trucks to get all the gear," said Bonnar, the organizer of the Learn to Skate program.
Jack and Kathy McNeil from South Shore Sports Excellence chose Bonnar's Learn to Skate program because they wanted to donate to the community they grew up in.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Bonnar says it's all for the kids.
"I actually cried," explained Bonnar.
"With the pandemic, and work for people isn't always an easy thing now,so to come down at any point and say I need this, or I need skates, or pants,it's a great way to get kids into the program," said Peter McGillivray, who has a child in Bonnar's program.
The donated gear is for a variety of sports including hockey, basketball, golf and baseball. All of it is brand new and most of it is still in boxes.
"I have two boys and we came down, and talked to Nick, and Nick dressed my kids from head to toe," said McGillivray. "From the helmet right down to the skates, everything."
Bonnar says the gear will be given to anyone in the community that needs it and he plans to hand out the equipment at the Miners Forum starting at noon on Friday.
"I can't explain it, and all I can say is, to Jack and Kathy McNeil, God bless you and we need people like you in our area to support kids," said Bonnar.