“Eastlink is dedicated to playing an active role in supporting charitable and non-profit organizations and activities that enrich the families and communities in which we operate,” declared Julie Benoit, Regional Marketing Manager, Western Regions, Eastlink. “The Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin is one of those organizations.” And with that, Benoit handed a cheque for $10,000 to Dana Badke, Executive Director, Wetaskiwin Boys and Girls Club. Badke described the donation as a significant step towards the much needed upgrading of the Early Learning and Child Care Centre (Daycare) playground. Because of the scope and size of the playground area, and finances required to complete it is approximately $150,000. The Boys and Girls Club will develop the area in two phases, with Phase 1, the toddler area, costing $70,000. The $10,000 donation by Eastlink’ increases the total funds for Phase I to $40,000.
Debbie Pearson, Fund and Communications Coordinator emphasizes the importance of financial support from the community. “With the recent generous gift of the child care centre building by the Colborne Family, it makes perfect sense to now upgrade the playground area. Now that the Boys and Girls Club are title owners of the property, the daycare centre is here to stay. The area was developed by the child care centre staff who work and interact daily with the children and understand early childhood development. This ensures the playground will fit the needs of children based on their ages and capabilities.”
In her closing comments, Benoit described Eastlink’s commitment to communities. “For 43 years, Eastlink has been committed to empowering customers and communities through innovative telecommunications and entertainment services. It’s all about moving forward, building stronger, healthier communities, and making a positive difference in the quality of life where we live, work, and play.”
The Boys and Girls Club has been in Wetaskiwin for over 25 years and are recognized for supporting families, and families today often mean working parents who require quality child-care for their children. The Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin provides low-cost services that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. They often work in partnership with other community agency’s to ensure that needs are met. Last year they directly served 233 children under the age of five. This number includes full-time, part-time and drop-in.
The Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin are seeking funders to help revitalize the outdoor playground at the Early Learning and Child Care Centre. Funds will be used toward the Phase 1, Toddler Area, development of the playground. The existing playground area is fenced into 2 sections. The old wooden outdoor play-structure was approximately twenty years old and had to be removed before the Centre opened. Due to the over-all size of the outdoor playground area, we will develop the area in two parts, with Phase 1, the Toddler section, completed first.
For more information about the playground project, please contact Debbie Pearson, Fund and Communications Coordinator at 780-352-4643 ext. 32.
The Toddler Area Workplan: Phase 1.
• Increase the existing area by moving the existing fence 20 feet to the east.
• Keep the existing cement pad area which is in excellent shape (bike and water table area).
• Remove the existing pea-size gravel in the Toddler area and replace it with grass, and in the new larger area install Pour and Place rubber surfacing which is a child-friendly surface.
• Build up the existing grass low area near the shed with new dirt and have new grass laid.
• Purchase and install a sand-box (currently there is not one in the area), child-size picnic benches, and a park bench, all made from coated steel for a maintenance and long-life span.
• Purchase a multi-bouncer, balance beam, stepping stones and a playground system, (from Blue Imp) all to be placed on the soft Pour and Place area of the play area.
• Have built a 12’ x 12’ Gazebo made from composite decking flooring, metal rails, etc. to ensure the sun structure is maintenance free.
• Install a water-outlet along the back wall for a splash area on the grass.
• Install a drop-down awning along the building for additional shade.
• Our long term plan is to have trees installed along the fence on south side of the whole playground area for shade.
About the Boys & Girls Club of Wetaskiwin:
The Boys & Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, founded in 1988, is a leading provider of programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of youth people and their families in our community.
Dedicated, trained staff and volunteers offer programs in physical recreation, technology, the arts, personal growth and more. The Club creates a safe, supportive environment where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life. To learn more, visit www.wetaskiwinyouth.ca.
Pictured: Zene, Alex, Brielle, K’Dyn & Chloie hold up the ten thousand dollar cheque graciously given by Eastlink to the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin. Photo by Barry McDonald