A wicked playground push
Recreation committee doing lots with funds raised in weekly game
Suzanne Curran and Julie Menecola can both remember playing in their youth on the old playground equipment in Conception Harbour.
Now adults with children of their own, the two women are pleased to see the fruits of the Conception Harbour Recreation Committee’s labour enjoyed by others.
“Last night (Aug. 20) we had lots of kids up here playing, and it was really emotional to see them all running, playing and outdoors instead of indoors on iPads,” says Curran, who is part of the sevenmember committee along with Menecola. “And it’s a community thing too, because the parents were here and they were talking. So, it’s like we’re bringing the life back into the community.”
To help spruce up recreation facilities in the Conception Bay Centre community, the committee decided two years ago to organize a Chase the Ace fundraiser. The first game proved to be lucrative, with two cards left before the coveted ace of spades was drawn. The jackpot for the winner was $77,000.
The committee’s share of the proceeds from the main game and weekly 50-50 put it in the position to do quite a lot for the playground. A new fence was built, crushed stone was added, and several pieces of equipment were purchased, including two ziplines. The playround has almost doubled in size. Curran estimates the overall cost for the playground project came to almost $160,000.
“And it was all through our fundraising with Chase the Ace,” adds Menecola.
Given the success of the first Chase the Ace, the committee decided to do it again, with the intention of raising more to improve recreation infrastructure within the community.
Prior to the Sunday, Aug. 26 weekly game, 11 cards remained, with an anticipated jackpot due to exceed $18,000.
Tickets can be purchased
6:30-8 p.m. at the Oasis Lounge in Colliers.
The committee has already moved beyond the playground with its work. A new batting cage is being set up for the ball field adjacent to the playground, and there’s talk of applying for grants for other projects. They’re also thinking of setting up a multipurpose court for basketball and ball hockey next to the playground.
The playground is getting attention from people in neighbouring communities as well.
Curran says the kids on her daughter’s squirt softball team, who live throughout the Conception Bay Centre area, couldn’t wait for a recent practice to finish so they could all enjoy the playground.
“A lot of people in our community, before we did this, they would bypass our old existing playground and they would travel to North River to go on their playground,” adds Menecola. “So, we really felt the need to have a cool, awesome space for kids to come and play.”
Jayden Pike, a boy from Conception Bay South who was recently visiting family in Conception Harbour, gives a solid review for the new playground.
“This is actually one of my favourite playgrounds,” he tells The Compass. “I love the zipline.”
Three-year-old Milo Menecola was all smiles as his mom Julie gave him a push Tuesday, Aug. 21, on one of two new ziplines set up at the reinvigorated community playground in Conception Harbour. A weekly Chase the Ace event did wonders for the local recreation committee.
Suzanne Curran, left, and Julie Menecola are both members of the Conception Harbour Recreation Committee.
From the left, brothers, Benjamin and Frankie Menecola have a good at the new dual slides at the playground in Conception Harbour.
Presley Curran takes a ride on one of two ziplines set up at the new playground in Conception Harbour.