For more than half of her life, Surrey teen Sia Sidhu has been raising money for BC Children’s Hospital, with close to $32,000 already collected for hospital units there.
The 13-year-old aims to add thousands of dollars to that total this summer/fall with a raffle that involves prizes donated by a growing number of corporate sponsors on “Team Sia.”
Sia started on her fundraising journey as a six-year-old. Over the years she has sold hot dogs, burgers, ice cream and more from a table set up on the driveway of her family’s Panorama Ridge-area home, in Surrey.
“It’s something I like to do,” she said, “and I don’t want to stop now.”
Last year’s virtual fundraiser raised close to $15,000 for the hospital’s pediatric intensive-care unit, and the oncology department is the focus of this year’s raffle, which is Sia’s seventh-annual fundraiser.
Ticket sales start Friday, Sept. 3, via email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, with one ticket priced at $20, three for $50, and seven for $100. The live-streamed prize draws will take place Sept. 26 starting at 2 p.m.
“Next year it’s my plan to keep going with events again, like the ones we were doing before,” explained Sia, who’s now in Grade 8 at Panorama Ridge Secondary.
For this month’s raffle, with the help of her parents, she’s been busy requesting and collecting 60-plus prize donations that include four vacation packages.
“We’re able to support her by driving around but we encourage her to do most of the conversation and the communication for this,” said Eka Sidhu, Sia’s mother.
“Just in a week she was able to reach out to companies and gather all of these prizes for the raffle,” Eka added. “People are starting to recognize her name from some of the awards and (news) stories that have been done.”
In 2020, as an 11-year-old, Sia’s “Burger Shack” fundraiser resulted in her becoming the youngest among Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 award winners. “She uses her savings for marketing collaterals and event supplies,” an awards bio noted. “Sia plans to follow a career path in broadcasting or politics in the future.”
So far, “Team Sia” fundraising partners have included East To West Group of Companies, Radiant Dental, LiUNA Local 1611 (Laborers’ International Union of North America), People’s Group, Pacific Real Estate (Sidra Subzwari), Uniglobe Printers, Save on Foods, and more.
“Many vendors/businesses and companies have joined hands with Sia to make this year’s event successful,” says a post about the raffle on Eka Sidhu’s Facebook page.
“Her goal as every year to help as many children that are in medical distress,” the post explains. “This year her giving back to children (who) have cancer. We are hoping to reach out to many possible social media or marketing outlets to spread the word to sell tickets so Sia can raise as much money as possible for those children (who) are undergoing cancer treatment.
“Sia has been working extremely hard to bring you this year’s event.”