Charity status to help skate park fundraising

Kenny Dale SkatingWith winter over and the summer stoke beginning, Sun Peaks skaters are getting back to work on plans to develop a local skate park for the community.

Since forming in 2013, the Sun Peaks Skate Park Foundation has been working towards establishing a local facility. Chairman Adam Earle said there was an “obvious appetite” for the recreation facility.

“Our vision is to design, fund, build and maintain a free to use, multi-user skate park facility at Sun Peaks,” Earle said.

In January, the foundation was upgraded from their not-for-profit status to charity status by the Canadian Revenue Agency. Unlike not-for-profit status, projects with charity status are able to approach other charities and foundations for their support and also issue official donation receipts. Earle said it will make the fundraising aspect of the project more manageable.

This summer, Earle said the foundation will be focussing on increasing community involvement and awareness of the project, and would be looking to fundraise around $30,000 to finance the design of the park.

“We’ll be fundraising as well as putting out grant requests and looking at some options from further afield to reach that goal,” he said.

The foundation has support from the Sun Peaks municipality, who’ve earmarked land and agreed to match $50,000 once the foundation has also raised that amount for the project.

Mayor Al Raine said he and the council continued to be supportive of the project.

“We know we have lots of younger people in the community, and I’ve always felt a bit bad because you can’t skate through the village, you can’t skate on the tennis courts, and you can’t skate down the road. There really needs to be location where they can skate,” Raine said.

He also commended the group’s proactive fundraising efforts, and encouraged other community groups to look at the foundation as a model for success.

“I think council’s attitude is that we like to work with groups where there’s self-initiative and self-funding. Obviously we have all these different recreational priorities, and groups that can raise funds to support themselves are more likely to move themselves higher up on that list,” Raine said.

“If there’s a community group and they can get into the fundraising and we can help them out, that’s something we’re keen to support.”

Community members interested in getting involved are encouraged to follow the Foundation’s Facebook page for information on future meetings and plans for a membership drive.

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