With a $500 donation from OPSEU Local #375 last Thursday, and news Tuesday the Voyageurs Lions Club also has turned over a cheque for $500, support for the Kiwanis Club’s skate park project keeps growing.
And Steve Maki, who has spearheaded the venture since the fall, said it’s time to kick into high gear.
“We took a timeout over Christmas, and I’m still recovering from pneumonia,” he noted Tuesday. “But we’re having a meeting tonight to get our game plan lined up.”
As contractor Jim Barnum is working away at designing a “master base” plan for the 14,000 sq. ft. concrete park (which resembles a bowl-like, empty swimming pool and is expected to be built on a site near the Memorial Sports Centre), Maki said the immediate focus is on “the money aspect.”
“We’re trying to create a list of the materials and the manpower we’ll need,” he noted. “We’re also still working to get the public, the parents of skateboarders, and businesses involved.
“We’ll be asking all the businesses for help. That could be a straight donation, or if they want, a promotion where a certain percentage of their sales go to the skate park,” said Maki, adding a brick-by-brick campaign, similar to one used by the Fort Frances Lions Club for its Millennium Park on Second Street East, is another possibility.
He remarked organizers are working to dot their i’s and crossing their t’s on applications for government funding, such as an Ontario’s Trillium grant.
And last but not least is the big fundraising potential of Canada Safeway, which adopted the project as its charity for 2003.
“The first fundraiser [a raffle] is ready. We just have to get the tickets printed up,” Cory Delbridge, assistant manager at Canada Safeway here, said yesterday.
“We’re hopeful to have them out in a week or so. As soon as we get them, we have them available,” he added.
The raffle grand prize will be for $100 a week in groceries for a year, with five secondary prizes of $500 in gift certificates for Safeway merchandise.
“We’re also looking at selling tickets for a vehicle in the early summer, maybe June,” said Delbridge. “And . . . there’s a couple other things we might do.”
More than $64,000 already has been raised for the skate park project.
While there’s still a lot of work to do, Maki said he’s expecting to get the shovel in the ground in time to have the park built before the weather turns cold next fall.
“We want to have it all done so the kids can use it, have a goal set to really keep the momentum going,” he noted.