Chasing a partnership
Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation launches partnership with town’s recreation committee
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
Const. John Clarke was the man cutting the deck at the end of the Chase the Ace event.