Donations to a local Winnipeg organization has a connection to Woody Harrelson

WINNIPEG –

A local organization supporting immigrant families in Winnipeg is getting a helping hand, and it involves a connection to a Hollywood star.

The Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy is a not-for-profit program that provides refugee newcomer youth with the opportunity to participate in multi-sport programming.

Although it receives grants from several organizations, it relies on donations to provide additional services, including nutritious snacks for the kids involved.

The program just received a $400 donation that will benefit the children who attend, and the money has a connection to actor Woody Harrelson, who is filming a movie called ‘Champions’ in Winnipeg.

The donation was facilitated through Volleyball Manitoba after it was contacted by the props department for ‘Champions,’ asking if they could borrow some sports equipment and insisting on paying for it.

John Blacher, executive director of Volleyball Manitoba, said they decided to donate the proceeds.

“We were considering local organizations, sport-related, youth-related programs that we could support with that contribution, and we just selected the Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy,” Blacher said.

The Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy said the $400 donation is enough to buy eight weeks’ worth of snacks for kids in the program.

Richard Sylvester, field of play director for the academy, said getting involved in sport is easier when you’ve had something to eat.

“We just see (snacks) as a basic need that should be met, and it solves a lot of problems,” he said.

Sylvester said he’s grateful for the donation, and so are the kids who can participate on a full stomach.

“It really helps, we want to make (nutritious snacks) a part of our program each time they come in,” he said.

In ‘Champions,’ Harrelson plays the coach of a basketball team training for the Special Olympics.

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