A wicked play­ground push

Re­cre­ation com­mit­tee do­ing lots with funds raised in weekly game

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON editor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.”

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

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.

PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

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.

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