The multi-million dollar NexSource Centre soon to be built in Sylvan Lake is getting closer to becoming a reality, thanks in no small part to fundraisers who with relentless enthusiasm continue to keep up the quest for needed dollars.
Deb Garritty, co-chair of the facility’s fundraising committee, said $1.375 million has so far been raised, close to the $2 million fundraising goal that will help offset costs of the $30-million project.
“It’s going good, people are really coming forward all the time to help out,” she said.
The latest ‘Buy a Seat’ fundraiser allows individuals to buy a seat for family, friends or an organization, and have their name engraved on it. Bleachers in the current arena will be upgraded as part of the redevelopment project, and by buying a seat, members of the public can contribute to the project while recognizing a particular individual or group.
Recent fundraising efforts are evidence the community knows how to turn tragedy into triumph − only a year ago, the old arena roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.
While the news was devastating, it seemed, as tragedy often does, to be the catalyst that united the community in an even closer bond than before.
Even before the rotting timbers of the old arena had time to settle, fundraisers were hard at work raising the much-needed dollars for a new facility.
In early 2013, the multiplex redevelopment fundraising committee, consisting of co-chairs Amy Komarninski and Deb Garritty, Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre and councillor Megan Chernoff, Amy Dakin, Don McKenzie, Louise Traverse, Lorie Johanson and Joyce Thrush, was formed.
A task force consisting of Chloe Lester, Christine Moore, Daryl Pickering, Gregg Broks, John Salsbury, Kari-Anne Weller and Keith Stephenson was also put together.
In April 2014, NexSource announced a $500,000 donation, which gave the company naming rights to the new facility.
Other sizable donations also began to come in.
The curling club, which is presently without a home rink, presented a $100,000 cheque toward the rebuilding of the curling rink, along with a $125,000 government grant.
Dollars came from Harvest Energy ($45,000), ATB Financial ($15,000) and Canadian Home Builders ($4,000).
Makayla Beck and Myia Hellmer raised $685, Chief’s Pub and Eatery donated $400, and Booster Juice donated $4,016 collected through Wednesday sales. For several months last year, Pet Planet donated a portion of sales to the cause. Sylvan Lake Bottle Depot donated $1,456,75. Donations totalling $2,784 were given to the NexSource Centre by people who were photographed with the Stanley Cup during its visit to town last year.
The design of the proposed facility is such that it will meet the needs of the diverse age groups and lifestyles of those living in Sylvan Lake now and in the future.
The NexSource Centre will feature hockey rinks, a curling rink with five sheets of ice, an upstairs lounge, youth activity areas, space for seniors programs, multi-purpose rooms and a four-lane running/walking track.
Completion has been tentatively slated for the fall of 2016.