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Skate park fundraising heating up


With raffle tickets expected to be ready for sale at Safeway here by Saturday, fundraising for the Kiwanis Club’s proposed skate park project will get a double boost with a “top up” day featuring familiar faces bagging customers’ groceries.

Kiwanis president Mark Jones said finding volunteers to bag groceries has been going “very well.”

“We’ve got quite a cross-section of the community, which is great because it shows the support is really there,” he remarked Tuesday.

Some confirmed “celebrities” so far include Fire Chief Steve Richardson and Greg Allan of the Fort Frances Fire Department, Joelle and Jean-Marc Blanc of La Place Rendez-Vous, Marla Thompson of the Northern Lights Credit Union, and Times sports reporter Joey Payeur.

Reps from the Kiwanis Club, local Business Women’s Network, the skate park committee, the Fort Frances Lions, Borderland Shriners, the Town of Fort Frances, and B93-FM also will be on hand Saturday.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Jones, noting the volunteers likely are going to be asked to work two-hour shifts so there will be no shortage of manpower.

Safeway assistant manager Cory Delbridge said the store’s previous “top up” days, which only are held once per year, have been successful.

He noted customers can expect to see signs at tills, reading: “Add a little to your bill. Add a lot to your community.”

“But it’s completely optional. Customers don’t have to give anything, or they can give just a little,” Delbridge stressed. “Let’s say their bill is $9.75, they can just top it up 25 cents if they want.”

Meanwhile, Jones said he’s optimistic tickets sales for a grand prize of $100 worth of groceries per week for a year will take off Saturday.

Tickets, which cost $5 each, will give people a chance to either win the grand prize, two additional prizes of $1,000 in Safeway gift certificates, or three prizes each of $500 in groceries.

A total of 4,000 tickets have been printed.

Jones noted Safeway shoppers can expect to see either Kiwanians or members of the skate park committee selling the raffle tickets over the next few months.

Further down the road, a second big fundraiser likely will feature a raffle for a new vehicle.

Safeway customers also can expect other fundraising promotions for the skate park, like ongoing popcorn sales and frequent barbecues in the spring and summer months.

Besides being adopted by Canada Safeway employees as their charity for 2003, the skate park project also has received financial support from local businesses, clubs, and organizations over the past few months—not to mention the $11,000 raised during a “skateboard-a-thon” held in December.

The skate park, projected to cost $300,000, hopefully will be built sometime this year.

Contractor and amateur skateboarder Jim Barnum is working on designing a “master base” plan for the 14,000 sq. ft. concrete park, which is expected to be built near the Memorial Sports Centre.

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