Septem­ber dead­line fast-ap­proach­ing

King’s-Edge­hill School to con­trib­ute $600k to Wind­sor’s pro­posed new arena

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY COLIN CHISHOLM WWW. HANTSJOURNAL. CA Colin. chisholm@ hantsjournal. ca

Danny Dill was a lit­tle out of his el­e­ment, sling­ing drinks be­hind the bar in­stead of tend­ing to his pump­kin farm, but he was do­ing it for a cause he be­lieves in.

The fi­nal stretch of the fundrais­ing cam­paign for the Wind­sor Hockey Arena Project was launched at the Spit­fire Arms Pub on June 14, with pro­ceeds from some of the drinks go­ing to­wards the ef­fort.

“We’re start­ing to see some progress and we can do some­thing ex­cit­ing for Wind­sor, the com­mu­nity, and the whole prov­ince,” Dill said.

The lo­cal celebrity bar ten­der was sling­ing Cae­sars and ‘ Long Pond Ale,’ which re­port­edly tastes a lot like Olands.

“I don’t think I’m go­ing to make it,” Dill joked as he poured some beer into a glass.

“But I’m get­ting lots of com­pli­ments,” he said.

“Beer and hockey to­gether.”

Jeff Red­den, who is hand­ing up the fundrais­ing ef­fort, said he’s feel­ing op­ti­mistic they can meet their $ 2.5 mil­lion goal, es­pe­cially since they’re now nearly half­way there.

A big rea­son for that is a $ 600,000 do­na­tion from King’sEdge­hill School.

“We’re al­most there when you look at the big picture of things, with the provin­cial money, the mu­nic­i­pal money and what we’ve raised,” Red­den said. “As of tonight, we are just over $ 1 mil­lion.”

Red­den said a lot of the fund­ing has come in from pri­vate busi­nesses in the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity.

Dona­tions of $ 25,000 have come in from Home Hard­ware, which Red­den is an owner of, Poth­ier Mo­tors, the Spit­fire Arms Pub, Oul­ton Fuels, Tim Hor­tons, Phar­masave, Evan­ge­line Trust, The Dill Farm, and Kevin Walsh Den­tistry. Wind­sor Phys­io­ther­apy do­nated $ 10,000.

“We’re re­ally close,” Red­den said. “The real ur­gency is our dead­line of Sept. 30.”

So far none of the dona­tions have se­cured nam­ing rights to goes the build­ing, but Red­den said they’ll be pitch­ing that to the cor­po­rate world.

The arena seat and puck sales are also un­der­way, bring­ing in more than $ 50,000 so far, Red­den said.

“I’m very op­ti­mistic. So far I’ve been to 10 busi­nesses and nine said yes,” he said. “That’s pretty good for a small com­mu­nity. Peo­ple want this to hap­pen.”

Red­den said he’s hop­ing the prov­ince and the fed­eral govern­ment will both pitch in one third of the cost of the project. The prov­ince pre­vi­ously an­nounced $ 3- mil­lion, but hasn’t said if they would in­crease that com­mit­ment to $ 4.2 mil­lion. The to­tal pro­posed cost of the arena build is es­ti­mated to be $ 12.6 mil­lion.

A large hockey stick will soon be con­structed and in­stalled by Cam Hart­ley, owner of School­house Brew­ery, in Wind­sor high­light­ing the fundrais­ing tar­get.

If it’s built, full op­er­a­tion and own­er­ship of the arena will fall to the Town of Wind­sor to bear.

No strings at­tached

King’s- Edge­hill School’s head­mas­ter, Joe Sea­gram, said their con­tri­bu­tion to the project comes with zero string at­tached, in­clud­ing no nam­ing rights or dress­ing rooms specif­i­cally for KES stu­dents.

The do­na­tion comes in the form of $ 600,000 in fund­ing and avail­abil­ity of the KES land where the arena will sit, and ac­cess from Col­lege Road, Sea­gram said.

The land in ques­tion was pre­vi­ously pur­chased by the pri- vate school from the Dill fam­ily. Sea­gram said they ini­tially had their own ideas in mind for the prop­erty un­til the arena project was se­lected for the Long Pond site.

“It’ll be a com­pletely sep­a­rate par­cel of land from the school, ( it will be) owned and op­er­ated by the Town of Wind­sor,” Sea­gram said.

“This do­na­tion has ev­ery­thing to do with the fact that this fa­cil­ity will be good for the com­mu­nity of Wind­sor and West Hants,” he said. “I truly be­lieve there’s a ris­ing tide of con­fi­dence in this com­mu­nity, we’re just at the point where we can re­ally make this a des­ti­na­tion com­mu­nity for busi­nesses and fam­i­lies.”

The school is also do­nat­ing ap­prox­i­mately $ 200,000 worth of up­grades to the GFL Re­cre­ation Cen­tre in Brook­lyn, through a new de­hu­mid­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, a fit­ness fa­cil­ity and two dress­ing rooms.

Wind­sor Mayor Anna Allen thanked KES for the do­na­tion, say­ing the whole arena project started with them.

“Things changed over time, where the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had to be in charge of it, all of that his­tory,” she said. “Now for them to come for­ward with this kind of money and no ex­pec­ta­tions other than con­tin­u­ing to use it like they do now, I’m very ex­cited about that.”

COLIN CHISHOLM

Danny Dill pours a Long Pond Ale dur­ing a fundrais­ing event for the Wind­sor Arena Project at the Spit­fire Arms Pub on June 14.

COLIN CHISHOLM

King’s-Edge­hill School head­mas­ter Joe Sea­gram an­nounced a $600,000 do­na­tion to the arena project. The school is also mak­ing land avail­able for the fa­cil­ity.

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