Red Deer cross-country skiers can now enjoy an enhanced River Bend recreation system for generations to come.
In support of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, Peavey Mart recently donated $100,000 to the Parkland Cross-Country Ski Club to install 4 km of trail lighting which will allow cross-country skiers to ski well into the evening during the winter months.
Doug Anderson, CEO of Peavey Industries, said this donation was a no-brainer for his organization.
“We felt it was very relevant for us as we are a cross-Canada organization,” he said. “We can speak to a number of communities by supporting this venture.”
The enhancement of River Bend for the Games is continuation of a legacy that has been ongoing for over 30 years at the park, according to Games Committee Vice Chair Hugh McPherson.
“River Bend began as a legacy of the Heritage Trust Fund back in the 80s,” he said. “Throughout the years, there has been a number of events that has helped build on that legacy such as the ‘88 Alberta Winter Games.
“The 2019 Canada Winter Games committee is excited to continue the legacy and the development of this site. Particularly for the purposes of, not only the sport development of cross-country skiing and biathlon, but also the development of a facility that Central Albertans can use for recreation for a number of years to come.”
Tom Marr-Laing, President of the Parkland Cross-Country Ski Club said the lights are a great gift to the people of Red Deer.
“With the lighting, it is much safer and easier to work with,” he said. “It makes it more inviting to come out here to River Bend.”
He added the high-efficiency LED lighting they have chosen to use could last for over 20 years, meaning several generations can enjoy the trail system in the winter.
McPherson said that sponsorship for the games is on track and the support of sponsors like Peavey Mart is bringing them closer.
“We need to realize that the importance of the corporate support brings in dollars, but also allows the leverage of those dollars to build a strong community,” he said. “Without that support, very little of this would be possible.”