Skate Park As­so­ci­a­tion plans rolling steadily along

The Casket - - Local - SAM MAC­DON­ALD sam­mac­don­[email protected]­cas­ket.ca

The Antigo­nish Skate Park As­so­ci­a­tion has re­ally started to get things rolling. The as­so­ci­a­tion is now of­fi­cially reg­is­tered as a non-profit in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety, and has re­cently awarded ten­der for the con­struc­tion of the park.

That of­fi­cial des­ig­na­tion, ac­cord­ing to pres­i­dent and co­founder of the Antigo­nish Skate Park As­so­ci­a­tion, Ja­son Ma­son, is a step in the right di­rec­tion. He said the des­ig­na­tion will help the as­so­ci­a­tion meet its many am­bi­tious goals.

Specif­i­cally, those re­lated to fundrais­ing.

"Not hav­ing a num­ber slowed us down. Now we’re able to ap­ply, and have ap­plied, for cor­po­rate do­na­tions and a num­ber of other do­na­tions," Ma­son said.

That is not the only step for­ward the as­so­ci­a­tion has taken. At a re­cent meet­ing, mem­bers chose a con­trac­tor, af­ter re­view­ing re­sponses to their re­quest for pro­posal (RFP).

Although the Antigo­nish Skate Park As­so­ci­a­tion was un­able to re­veal who the ten­der was awarded to be­fore the press dead­line of this week’s edi­tion of the Casket, Ma­son said, "We’re re­ally happy about who qual­i­fied. We had three pro­pos­als from peo­ple who wanted to work on the park."

"The peo­ple we chose have a his­tory with Antigo­nish," he added.

Fundrais­ing

The Antigo­nish Skate Park As­so­ci­a­tion has its work cut out for it, but with the amount of sup­port it has re­ceived so far, its lead­er­ship is un­daunted.

"We are re­spon­si­ble for $167,000 of which we have $42,000 – which is 25 per cent of the fundrais­ing ef­forts," Ma­son said.

Now that the as­so­ci­a­tion is a reg­is­tered in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety, Ma­son said the fundrais­ing will come along faster, and with fewer im­ped­i­ments.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has some fundrais­ing plans, but "since there are a lot of mov­ing parts, we’re not go­ing to talk about that yet," Ma­son said.

"When it does come out, the fundrais­ing ef­fort will be a real treat for ev­ery­one in Antigo­nish," Ma­son said.

"It’s com­ing from just one event, and it goes along­side of what the Antigo­nish Skate Park As­so­ci­a­tion has planned to bring and in­tro­duce to the town."

Ma­son noted there has been a change of the guard within the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Re­cently, sec­re­tary Cara Jones has stepped down. The as­so­ci­a­tion is look­ing for an­other per­son to take over in the role.

A new trea­surer, who the mem­bers of the as­so­ci­a­tion plan to men­tor, has also been ap­pointed.

Noah Teas­dale, a Grade 12 at Dr. John Hugh Gil­lis Re­gional High School is tak­ing over where for­mer trea­surer Olivier Boudreau left off.

"We didn’t specif­i­cally look for a high school stu­dent, but we fig­ured this is a way to teach and men­tor him, so as he grows and de­vel­ops with the skate park, we have some­one who’ll be here in the long term," Ma­son said.

Ma­son em­pha­sized that the as­so­ci­a­tion is look­ing to cre­ate a struc­ture that grows with the pro­ject as time goes on, and plans move for­ward.

He also em­pha­sized that it’s never a big deal to the as­so­ci­a­tion when they need to change staff.

"There are so many peo­ple who want to be in­volved in this pro­ject," Ma­son said. "It’s not a big deal when they can’t, or don’t have the time. The peo­ple who want to work on the skate park are the ones who are there."

Sam Mac­don­ald

Ja­son Ma­son, co-founder and pres­i­dent of the Antigo­nish Skate Park As­so­ci­a­tion.

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