Placentia playground semifinalist for community grant
Online vote could help secure funds to spruce up equipment
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.
Residents of Placentia hope to replace playground equipment at the Wayne John Searle Memorial Recreation Complex through an online community grant competition.