Fundraising is underway for a new playground at the elementary school, as the current one has an estimated life span of five years. File Photo

Fundraising efforts for new playground making progress

The Eckville Fundraising Society is at a point where it can begin to apply for grants

Just over a year of hard work and many small fundraisers has made helped make headway on the road to a new playground for the Eckville Elementary.

While all the fundraisers, except one, being on a relatively small scale, they all add up.

Over the last roughly year-and-a-half, the Eckville Fundraising Society has raised about $55,000 for the new playground.

While the group is still a ways off to getting a new playground built, they are now at a point where things should begin to pickup speed, according to Tiffany Eliuk, president of the society.

“We are now finally at a point where we can start to apply for grants,” Eliuk said. “You have to have so much [money] in place before you can start to apply for grants.”

The hard part is getting to the point where grants can be applied for, Eliuk says.

Getting to the point where the group can begin to apply for funding was daunting as they began without anything other than a goal.

The new playground “doesn’t come cheap”, and the Eckville Fundraising Society has set a goal of $350,000.

With new funding options now available, the society has set a new goal on the horizon.

To be able to apply to a specific grant, which Eliuk says is the largest grant the group can apply for, the Eckville Fundraising Society needs to have at least $70,000 set aside for the playground.

“We are doing pretty good, and with the recession I think we are making pretty good headway,” said Eliuk.

With the spring flowers going out soon, Eliuk says the fundraising projects will soon wrap up until autumn.

Still to come this spring is the slo-pitch tournament, organized by Tamara Lawrence, and the bull arena, which the society will work as security.

“Things get a little tough to organize during the summer months, people go on vacation and there is so much going on, we are just going to take a break for the summer,” Eliuk said.

While there will be no official fundraising activities during the summer, those who want to help out still can.

The Eckville Fundraising Society has a standing account at the bottle depot in Eckville. Bottles can be taken in and any money from them will be put towards the playground.

“Everything contributes, whether it’s a dollar or a bag of bottles, it all counts.”

The playground has been at the elementary for many years, without much updating, which prompted the need to fundraise for a new structure.

“We were given a five year life span on our playground. We hope to have [the new playground] before the five year mark comes into play.”

The society had the current playground evaluated in the fall, which told them the estimated life left in the age play structure to be only five years.

Eliuk says a new playground at the elementary school is more than just for the students at the school.

As the school ground are used for many activities and events the playground is often utilized outside of school hours.

“Grandkids, kids how come to Eckville for ball or soccer, a lot of them play on the playground. A new play structure will affect the whole town, not just the students,” said Eliuk.

The group does not have many members at the moment, and Eliuk says that affects the types of fundraising that can be done.

Another event like the duelling pianos, which was a partnership with another organization, is not in the cards as the man power is not currently available.

The Eckville Fundraising Society is always looking for new volunteers who are interested in helping out.

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