Pla­cen­tia play­ground im­prove­ment fund $50,000 richer

Wayne John Searle Me­mo­rial Recre­ation Com­plex big win­ner in on­line vote

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@CBN­com­pass.ca

The news was al­most too good to be true for Shyla Power, who has put in a lot of hours vol­un­teer­ing with oth­ers to help spruce up the Wayne John Searle Me­mo­rial Recre­ation Com­plex in Pla­cen­tia.

Mem­bers of the South­east Play­ground Im­prove­ment Com­mit­tee learned last Mon­day their group was among the 15 grand prize win­ners for the 2015 Aviva Com­mu­nity Fund. That means they’ll re­ceive $50,000 to go to­wards the pur­chase of new play­ground equip­ment. The good news was made pub­lic two days later on Wed­nes­day.

“We had 1,600 peo­ple in our vot­ing group who had all been won­der­ing about it, so it was really hard to keep it un­der wraps,” Power told The Com­pass Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, min­utes af­ter Aviva Canada an­nounced pub­licly who were the win­ners.

The com­mit­tee of eight has worked hard over the last couple of years to raise funds to give the play­ground new life, with $20,000 raised so far. The ad­di­tional $50,000 will bring them closer to the $80,000 needed for the equip­ment.

“We have a couple of more lit­tle fundrais­ers planned over the next few months, but we’re hop­ing to start the play­ground in the spring,” said Power, who added she hopes it will be ready to open prop­erly in the sum­mer.

De­spite an in­crease in the num­ber of young fam­i­lies mov­ing into the neigh­bour­hood, the ag­ing play­ground equip­ment was not get­ting used much.

In ad­di­tion to those who voted to help the project move on to the fi­nal round of vot­ing, Power ac­knowl­edged the sup­port of Town of Pla­cen­tia fa­cil­i­ties man­ager Rhonda Power, who helped the com­mit­tee with or­ga­niz­ing fundrais­ers and sell­ing tick­ets.

The makeover project for the park was a grand prize win­ner in the com­mu­nity health cat­e­gory, and it wasn’t the lone ben­e­fi­ciary in this prov­ince. The St. John’s Farm­ers’ Mar­ket was also awarded $50,000 to help move into a new lo­ca­tion.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Res­i­dents of Pla­cen­tia will likely see new play­ground equip­ment at the Wayne John Searle Me­mo­rial Recre­ation Com­plex next year thanks to a com­mu­nity grant com­pe­ti­tion.

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

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