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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Blackfoot Community Playground Committee Fundraising Update and Progress Report


On May 2 at 7 p.m., the Blackfoot Community Playground Committee held an information session and cheque presentation at the Blackfoot Hall. Committee members, community members, and special dignitaries were in attendance. The purpose of the information session was to showcase the plans for the proposed playground, and provide updates on the fundraising efforts to reach their goal.

The idea for a new playground dates back 20 years when the relocation of the current playground to its current location happened.

“The Blackfoot Lions Club and the Blackfoot Ladies Club have been organizing fundraisers for over 10 years with the proceeds earmarked for a new playground,” explained committee member Kat Pollard.

In December of 2022, the Playground Committee, comprising members of the Blackfoot Lions Club, The Blackfoot Ladies Club, and community residents, was formed to initiate the planning process, conduct cost analysis, and accelerate fundraising efforts. The cost of the proposed inclusive playground is estimated at approximately $325,000. It will feature accessible swings, ramps, and a rubber pour ensuring easy maneuverability and safety for all users.

Pollard also notes that the playground is considered phase one, and ideally, they would like to incorporate additional such as a gazebo, ball diamond, and other features to transform it into a multi-function park.

Since fundraising began, the Lions Club organized various events, including a beef and freezer raffle, and played an integral role in the planning and execution of Blackfoot Days. Members of the Lions Club have also contributed significantly to planning the new playground.

The Ladies Club organized community fundraisers, including a plant fundraiser from Wickham Nurseryland, as well as raffles for alcohol, meat, and other items. Additionally, they hosted block parties, Ladies nights, sold discount cards, organized Halloween dances, participated in Blackfoot Days, held indoor garage sales, bartended events, catered funeral lunches, and canvassed businesses and residents for donations.

During the presentation on May 2, MLA Garth Rowswell presented a cheque to Blackfoot Lions Club member Jeff Schonhofer for $125,000 from the Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant. County of Vermilion River Reeve Marty Baker and Councilor Jason Stelmaschuk, also a Community Playground committee member, presented a cheque for their donation of $50,000 to the project. This donation had been pledged when the committee was at the point of ordering the playground equipment.

The committee has now raised $305,000 of its $325,000 fundraising goal but still needs to raise an additional $20,000.

“We could not achieve this without the support of local businesses and residents. We are very close to reaching our goal but still need donations to complete this first phase which is our new playground vision,” said Pollard.

On May 9, the committee will be holding a Pub Night to raise more funds towards the remaining $20,000. The event will feature a steak dinner with a choice of fries, soup, salad, or rice along with a complimentary domestic bottle of beer, pop, or a Hi-ball for $30. Tickets are available by contacting Leah at 780-870-7329, or by email: jeff.leah@telus.net or Cheryl at 780-808-5000 or by email: vfin@telus.net

Donations can also be made by cheque to the Blackfoot Lions Club. By e-transfer to Blackfoot.Lions.Club@gmail.com or by cash to any committee member.

“We are hopeful that if we hit our fundraising target, the playground will be ready to use by the end of August,” stated Pollard.

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