LOTS OF SUPPORT - Blaine Calkins, Red Deer-Lacombe MP and Glen Pangle, president of the Red Deer Royals Alumni Association, stand with Royals band members who presented them with over 1,000 letters of support for funding for their new home, the Kinsmen Fieldhouse. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

Red Deer Royals see over 1,000 letters of support for funding

MP Blaine Calkins to make an appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Red Deer Royals Marching Show Band has seen major support from the community of Central Alberta, but wants some support from the prime minister for the remaining funds of their new home, the Kinsmen Fieldhouse.

In an announcement today at The Black Knight Inn on Friday, the band has received over 1,000 letters of support, and presented them to Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins to present to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Ray McBeth, fundraising chair for the Red Deer Royals Alumni Association, approached Calkins on behalf of the Royals about looking for avenues for them to receive some infrastructure funding, aside from the funding they’ve been doing on their own.

“There just didn’t seem to be any doors that would open that they would be able to have a relatively assured success, so Ray started throwing out some ideas to me and asked for my support, and who’s not going to support the Red Deer Royals,” said Calkins.

He added the Royals is well known internationally and well respected in the community.

“Not to mention the music is fantastic and they’re great ambassadors for Red Deer and all of Central Alberta, and people come from far and wide to be part of it,” he said.

The group needs around $600,000 more for their new permanent rehearsal facility.

And Calkins said the problem they’re facing now is that the project is already constructed and completed.

“It’s always harder to get the money afterwards, so this will be an appeal. My job as the MP is to make the appeal to the Government of Canada on behalf of the Royals, and that’s what I’ll be doing through those letters.”

Glen Pangle, president of the Red Deer Royals Alumni Association said they are about two thirds of the way through the fundraising for the project and only have about one third left.

“It would certainly get us closer to the finish line,” said Pangle.

In a partnership with Red Deer Catholic Schools for the construction of the Kinsmen Fieldhouse, the Royals’ financial commitment is $2.7 million, representing 50% of the cost of the Fieldhouse.

Prangle said although the Fieldhouse is complete, their deadline is December to raise the money, and they will continue fundraising until they reach that deadline.

“The seeds of this project almost 20 years ago became much more of a focus for the last 15 years or so and so it is really rewarding to have the building up and completed. The Red Deer Royals love it and we just need to finish the fundraising.”

He said getting over 1,000 letters of support shows what kind of support there is from the community.

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