Social Shout-Outs: Olympic Snowboarder Mark McMorris and The McMorris Foundation
BY SHAUN FERGUSON
The Winter Olympics are over and we miss watching it here at Press Pillay! Who doesn’t love watching world-class athletes compete on the global stage? (Especially our Canadians — shout out to our very own Tessa and Scott.)
One of our favourite athletes at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games was Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris—and it’s not just because he was able to bring home the Bronze medal at the Olympic games after recovering from a life-threatening injury only eleven months earlier. (What a boss!)
But it’s Mark McMorris’ charitable efforts that makes him really stand out. McMorris and his older brother, Craig McMorris—who also happens to be a professional snowboarder and commentator—created the McMorris Foundation in 2012 with the vision of “creating a more affordable, accessible, and inclusive sports culture in Canada.” Both brothers were fortunate enough to compete in multiple sports when they were growing up and wanted to extend that privilege to kids who aren’t able to get the same opportunity.
It’s no surprise that while extremely beneficial, playing sports in Canada can be incredibly expensive. Registration fees, equipment, club fees—the list goes on. These are all massive barriers for many parents wishing to enrol their children into sports activities. The McMorris Foundation helps kids gain access to sports through their key partnership with the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charity which funds children’s sports programs and individual athletes throughout Canada, promoting physical activity and health for all.
With the McMorris Foundation’s main fundraising event, the annual McMorris & McMorris gala, the foundation has raised over $115,000 and has created athletic opportunities for over 1,150 Canadian children. Although the gala was originally organized as a social get-together for the McMorris brothers and their friends, its potential to be so much more has helped transform the once exclusive party into the successful fundraiser it is today.
“Every year we’ve made so much money that we give a lot away and we still have a little fund left over to see if we want to do it next year,’’ Craig McMorris said to the Regina Leader-Post. “That fund has been growing and thus getting even more money. It’s kind of a no-brainer to keep it going.’’
The McMorris foundation has also helped establish Ski and Snowboard programs like the Optimist Hill Project in the McMorris’s home province of Saskatchewan.
Whether it’s winning medals himself or building the Olympians of tomorrow, we have a lot of love for the McMorris brothers, the McMorris foundation and everything they do for Canadian kids!
Who was your favourite athlete at the Winter Olympic Games?
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