Pla­cen­tia play­ground semi­fi­nal­ist for com­mu­nity grant

On­line vote could help se­cure funds to spruce up equip­ment

The Compass - - OPINION - BYANDREWROBINSON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

A play­ground in Pla­cen­tia is in the run­ning to se­cure the funds needed to re­place ag­ing equip­ment.

The pitch to fix up the Wayne John Searle Memo­rial Recre­ation Com­plex is among the semi­fi­nal­ist for the Aviva Com­mu­nity Fund Com­pe­ti­tion.

De­pend­ing on the out­come of an on­line vote hap­pen­ing Dec. 1-10, the project spear­headed by the South­east Play­ground Im­prove­ment Com­mit­tee could be­come a fi­nal­ist. At that stage, judges will de­cide whether or not to award the project up­wards of $50,000. All fi­nal­ists re­ceive $5,000.

“Peo­ple have got­ten into it,” said Shyla Power, one of the com­mit­tee’s mem­bers. “They’ve be­come re­ally en­cour­ag­ing, and they all want to help … All we need is one click a day per per­son.”

The Bac­calieu Trail SPCA’s ef­forts to se­cure funds for an an­i­mal shel­ter — as fea­tured by The Com­pass in a re­cent story — has also made it to the semi­fi­nal round.

Ac­cord­ing to Power, equip­ment at the play­ground is ag­ing and needs to be re­placed. De­spite the pres­ence of young fam­i­lies in the neigh­bour­hood, Power says chil­dren almost never use the play­ground.

“It’s the same play­ground that was there when I was a kid,” said the moth- er of two young chil­dren.

“This area in the south­east, there’s more and more young fam­i­lies mov­ing up here.”

The com­mit­tee has raised $10,000 to go to­wards re­plac­ing the equip­ment. Power ex­pects be­tween $45,000-$50,000 is needed to spruce up the play­ground.

“There’s only eight of us on the com­mit­tee. We all have chil­dren and we all have jobs, so it’s kind of hard to fundraise. We’re do­ing our best, but it’s go­ing re­ally slow.”

It was her sis­ter and fel­low com­mit­tee mem­ber Chelsea Miller who came up with the idea to en­ter the play­ground project in the on­line com- mu­nity fund com­pe­ti­tion.

“I’d voted sev­eral dif­fer­ent years for ideas, but it just never oc­curred to me to put our idea in,” said Power.

A Face­book page — South­east Play­ground Aviva Contest Vot­ing Group — was set up to pro­mote the cause. It now has 427 mem­bers.

“This is the last round where we ac­tu­ally need to so­licit votes,” noted Power.

There will be 120 semi­fi­nal­ist ideas look­ing to move on to the fi­nal round of judg­ing.

Those in­ter­ested in vot­ing for the project can visit http://bit.ly/1ycASY5.

Wayne John Searle Memo­rial Recre­ation Com­plex is named after a Pla­cen­tia man who died in 2002 at the age of 21.

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos

Res­i­dents of Pla­cen­tia hope to re­place play­ground equip­ment at the Wayne John Searle Memo­rial Recre­ation Com­plex through an on­line com­mu­nity grant com­pe­ti­tion.

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