Chas­ing a part­ner­ship

Bay Roberts Cul­tural Foun­da­tion launches part­ner­ship with town’s recre­ation com­mit­tee

The Compass - - NEWS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

The Chase the Ace fundraiser for the Bay Roberts Cul­tural Foun­da­tion is like a slow burn.

It me­an­ders through the first cou­ple min­utes of ticket sales as those will­ing to test their luck slowly start trick­ling through the doors of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Bay Roberts. As the time stretches deeper into the bit­ter cold evening, the pace quick­ens.

Peo­ple are ar­riv­ing in greater num­bers and ticket sales be­gin to boom. They’re all here for the chance to catch the ace. If they do, they could walk away with a jack­pot in the vicin­ity of $3,000.

That didn’t hap­pen on Feb. 15 and that’s how they like it. If it doesn’t get pulled, the jack­pot keeps grow­ing and the slow burn be­comes a bit quicker.

This night serves two pur­poses. It’s the of­fi­cial un­veil­ing of the de­sign for the pro­posed aquatic cen­tre and recre­ation fa­cil­ity — name sub­ject to change — and the first night in a part­ner­ship be­tween the foun­da­tion and the town’s recre­ation com­mit­tee.

The fa­cil­ity aims to have a por­tion of its space ded­i­cated to com­mu­nity events and could serve as theatre space. It’s some­thing the foun­da­tion was al­ready fundrais­ing for, and jumped at the chance to com­bine ef­forts with the recre­ation group.

“We’re pre­sent­ing the Bay Roberts Cul­tural Foun­da­tion as a part­ner with (Bay Roberts) and it’s recre­ation com­mit­tee on a fundrais­ing ven­ture aimed at pro­vid­ing a two-point fa­cil­ity in our town,” said foun­da­tion chair­per­son Clarence Mercer. “One, an aquatic cen­tre which this town has needed for a long­time, and one that has been rec­og­nized by many in this town as a des­per­ate need and that is one for a per­form­ing arts cen­tre.

“We’re hop­ing that this build­ing … will be­come a re­al­ity sooner than later.”

The Chase the Ace event is just one in a se­ries of planned col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween the two en­ti­ties.

Prior to jump­ing on board with the recre­ation com­mit­tee, the cul­tural foun­da­tion had been de­posit­ing a por­tion of the re­turns from the Chase the Ace evening into an ac­count for a planned per­form­ing arts cen­tre.

“We thought that this was a pie in the sky, hon­estly,” said Mercer. “The Bay Roberts Cul­tural Foun­da­tion took a leap of faith. Less than a month ago, we got in­tro­duced to this con­cept and be­came will­ing part­ners in try­ing to pro­vide this for the res­i­dents of our town.”

The groups have set their sights on rais­ing some $2 mil­lion by the end of 2017. They want to be able to go to govern­ment with all of their ducks in a row prior to them be­ing handed pro­ject money.

They have eyes on es­tab­lish­ing a monthly 50-50 draw and other ven­tures that could jump­start the money rais­ing ini­tia­tives. It’s a game plan that has suc­ceeded in other com­mu­ni­ties. In Pla­cen­tia, some $464,000 was raised for its planned pool, with the lo­cal Lions Club do­ing much of a heavy lift­ing for fundrais­ing.

“We wanted a part­ner­ship that could make both of our dreams a re­al­ity at the end of the day,” said Bay Roberts recre­ation di­rec­tor Ian Flynn.

“We need this to not be a one-off. We need your sup­port ev­ery week to help make this fundraiser a suc­cess.

“Hope­fully, this will con­tinue to grow and the jack­pot will con­tinue to grow and we can reach our goals.”

The Bay Roberts Cul­tural Foun­da­tion took a leap of faith. Clarence Mercer

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

Const. John Clarke was the man cut­ting the deck at the end of the Chase the Ace event.

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