Wow Factor Media replacing cut grant
Wow Factor Media stepped in to fund the Afterschool Action Program at YaraCentre after the annual grant was cut.
© Austin M. Davis
The YaraCentre hosts the Wow Factor Media Afterschool Action Program on weekdays from 3 - 6 p.m. for kids ages 12 - 18. (L-R) Doug Campbell, Joel Pinel and Jasmine Jackman celebrated the new partnership on Thursday.
“Prior to us seeking out a new sponsorship, we were actually sponsored by both YaraCentre and a community initiatives fund — a grant through our provincial government,” said Jasmine Jackman, YaraCentre manager. “Unfortunately, it was cut this year.”
The afterschool program for youth ages 12-18 has been running for three years under that funding model.
Jackman said YaraCentre wasn’t about to let a lack of funding kill the program, though she said that period of time was “nerve-racking.”
“We, as the organization here as YaraCentre, were going to move forward with the program either way,” Jackman said. “But it was a nice surprise that a local business such as Wow Factor came onboard and has helped us sponsor the program.”
Joel Pinel, CEO of Wow Factor Media, seized the opportunity to save the after school program.
Wow Factor Media is a Moose Jaw-owned family business whose partners are all under the age of 30 years old.
Pinel said it’s very important to give back to the community, specifically to youth in Moose Jaw looking for something to do for free on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
“Especially with video games and the Internet … the social aspect and physical aspect of kids isn’t there like it used to be when we were kids. We used to be outside all the time,” Pinel said.
He said the option to leave the stress of school behind and hang out with friends while enjoying the open YaraCentre turf by tossing around a football or Frisbee is one he would have loved as a kid.
“It would have been awesome,” Pinel said. “My friends and myself were all pretty active in sports. Especially in the wintertime when you’re cooped up, this is perfect. It’s a beautiful facility.”
The program has been popular over its run so far, seeing anywhere from 30 to 120 kids every day.
Pinel said the whole sponsorship rose out of a discussion with Doug Campbell, YaraCentre director of business development.
“It was an opportunity that fit with the right partnership at the right time,” Campbell said. “Wow Factor was looking for an opportunity where they can give back to the community.”
He said it was a perfect blend of both the Afterschool Action Program’s need for funding and Wow Factor Media’s desire to invest in Moose Jaw.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.