CALGARY -- It’s a massive source of funds for Calgary charities.  According to its web site since March 21, 2020 the Calgary Flames Foundation has distributed $1.4 million through the Calgary Flames Foundation COVID-19 Community Support Program, helping people and charities through the pandemic.

The foundation released an update to its online raffle thanking fans for supporting the program, which has been forced to migrate to digital delivery in the pandemic.

The transition has produced a few bumps in the road.

“It is necessary to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances, we must postpone our online 50/50 raffle until further notice,” the update states. “We will continue to work alongside our software partner to enhance our online 50/50 system and ensure we can deliver a positive experience for Flames fans.”

Organizers of the program say they appreciate fans' patience and hope they will participate in future game day draws, even though fans won't actually be at any games.

Numerous Calgary charities receive funds from the Flames Foundation. Kidsport Calgary receives about an eighth of its budget from it.

“We want to see the Flames Foundation do well and we love the fact that the AGLC helped them get to this online, without anyone in the Saddledome is definitely going to hurt and maybe hurt their chances to fund as many community groups to the levels they have,” said Kevin Webster, CEO of Kidsport Calgary and the Calgary Flames Sports Bank.

Habitat for Humanity is also a recipient from the Foundation. It also has a number of annual events to raise money. Kelsey Murdoch is a program specialist for community fundraising and says the agency has had to get creative to find ways to raise funds in a socially distanced era.

Flames Foundation
“We used to do a three day cycling event and this year we’re doing a virtual one that’s open to the public which we’ve never done before with this event,” said Murdoch.

Calgary Rotary West says by this time last year it raised close to $30,000 through its fundraising events. This year it’s only managed about half of that amount.

“With COVID it was extremely difficult to find ways we could raise money,” said Cox. “In the past we held a Stampede breakfast and parade where we would sell a seat and a breakfast and it was a great fundraiser for us.”

Cox says now the club is hosting its own 50/50 draw in the hopes of raising 20 thousand dollars.

Learn more about it here:
And Habitat’s Ride Through the Rockies event here: