Last week, the St. Pauls Athletic Association kicked off a fundraising drive to purchase an automated external defbrilator (AED) that will be accessible to athletes on the sports fields surrounding the Downie Optimist Hall in St. Pauls.
“Thursday is our big night of soccer, so last Thursday we handed out pamphlets and fliers to the parents of all the players of the different things we’re selling to help raise funds,” SPAA chair Mark McKay said. Within days, the group had already raised $450, or almost 20 percent, of their $2,700 goal to buy the device in memory of Andrew Stoddardt, who collapsed May 11 while playing soccer for the Embro U 15 team. They’re also after a $300 outdoor, weatherproof case for the device.
There are already AEDs inside the Optimist Hall and Perth South municipal offices, however according to AED.com, “an AED would need to be placed in a known position approximately 325 feet away,” from an event. “From the middle of the back soccer field to the Optimist Hall is 325 yards,” McKay said, with the distance to the municipal offices even farther.
McKay had presented to Perth South council on May 19 about the need for such a device on the athletic fields, but was told at the meeting this week Perth County would be unable to provide the SPAA with an AED.
“The county has not got the financial wherewithal or the people to put [an AED] in every soccer field, ball diamond, etc. in Perth County which they would have to do if they put it in one,” said Perth South mayor Bob Wilhelm “They would also have to be checked on a regular basis. Then, all of a sudden, you would have to have full time staff for that.”
He and council applauded the athletic association for moving forward on their own.
McKay said that, due to higher than expected sports registration, the group could probably pay for an AED from their budget, but that might prevent them from being able to afford other needed upgrades and replacements such as soccer nets.
For more information about the association’s fundraiser, which involves the sale of Tupperware, Forbidden Delights baked goods and Arbonne cosmetics, find St. Pauls Athletic Association on Facebook, visit their Web site at LeagueLineup.com/SPAA or email McKay at email@example.com.