Donalda scores support for sports facilities

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  • Aug. 10, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Julie Bertrand / Independent Reporter

In its efforts to build an outdoor rink and skateboard park, Donalda has received a $1,000 boost from ATCO Electric.

“We certainly appreciated their helping with this cause,” Donalda Mayor Bruce Gartside said last Friday. “Very much so.”

He hopes the donation is the impetus for more corporate support.

“Oh, it would help them a great deal,” Gartside said of the community organization trying to build the facilities.

“They’ve got some people willing to volunteer their labour and equipment to prepare the base, so that’s going to be a donation in kind. I don’t know what the whole project would cost overall, (but) I doubt they’ve got enough money to do it complete at this point.”

Acting on behalf of parents wanting more sports facilities for children in the area, the Donalda and District Ag Society applied last year for funding to build an outdoor rink and other recreational amenities that would provide a year-round athletic centre.

“I understand they got a $30,000 grant from the Stettler Rec Board towards the rink,” Gartside said. “I don’t think that’s enough to build it complete, but …this is a group apart from the village (administration). But we’re glad to see it happening.”

The rink committee has met with the village council to discuss a potential site for the facility.

“We did provide a location for them that they were agreeable with, and they were to provide a plan as to the exact dimensions and other information pertaining to the design,” Gartside said. “Once they’ve submitted the plan, they can go ahead and do the ground preparation.”

“I mean, we’ve tried to have rinks that we flooded for the kids, but it’s hit and miss. If you’ve got a facility where it’ll contain the water while it freezes, it’s certainly much easier to ice and keep iced.”

The mayor said Donalda’s former indoor rink was converted to a horse arena “a number of years ago,” at a time when the number of children in the community was in decline.

But now, the demographics have changed and parents have recognized a need for a recreational facility in the community.

“Based on what the winters are like, you may or may not have ice on any given week during the winter, but with other facilities (complementing an outdoor rink), you could also have volleyball, basketball, soccer, that kind of thing, so it could be used year round,” Gartside said.

The village believes it has already taken a step in the right direction, thanks in part to ATCO Electric’s contribution.

“We are thankful to receive the support of ATCO Electric for the rink and skateboard park,” Joan Kapiniak, the Village of Donalda’s chief administrative officer, said in a news release. “It is extremely difficult for smaller, rural communities to make these improvements to our much-needed facilities. We are grateful to have corporate partners like ATCO Electric that are committed to making a difference to the communities they serve.”

The company said its support of such projects is part of its mandate.

“At ATCO Electric, our business goes beyond the safe, reliable delivery of electricity,” Bobbi Lambright, the president of ATCO’s operations division, said in a release. “We are pleased to support projects that enrich the quality of life of our service communities and enhance the health and wellness of local residents.”