Support excels as group continues to build recreation facility in Falher, Alberta

A group of tenacious women have been working hard to design and build a Community Sports Court for avid sports enthusiasts to enjoy in Falher, Alberta. The committee consists of three ladies: Isabelle Caron, Maryse Simon and Christine Aubin. The women have been working tirelessly to create this opportunity in the region, with Phase 1 of the project already complete for athletes to use. Phase 1 of the project was to create two outdoor beach volleyball courts, which opened earlier this year. “We are extremely excited to say that in five short months we were able to fundraise over $40,000 in order to complete Phase 1 of the project,” says committee member Christine Aubin. “Conseil Scholaire Nord-Ouest school board donated a parcel of land for our project, and Dave Marchildon of Pokey Trucking was our main contractor for Phase 1.” The Community Sports Court is in the Ecole Heritage yard, backing up to the Falher baseball diamonds and Villa Beausejour’s garden. The grounds are accessible to the public before and after school hours, on weekends and during the summer. Aubin says the school has installed sitting areas to make visits to the court more enjoyable, and they also have two parks for the younger kids to enjoy while their families are using the courts. “We’ve had an overwhelming response from our community,” says Aubin. “Many have donated money or resources and have helped us with the fundraising,” she adds. Aubin says Marchildon helped tremendously by helping to find donations for the completion of the volleyball courts. She says CAFÉ Nord-Ouest donated all the netting for the volleyball and pickleball courts, and they received a number of cash donations from the community. Phase 2 of the project will include a double tennis court with two adjustable basketball nets. The double tennis court will also have the ability to becoming six pickleball courts, and all courts will have lines for each respective sport.

The committee has done many fundraisers including garage sales, bottle drives, a Mundare Sausage sale, and a prize calendar. They have approximately $266,000 left to raise of the $350,000 required to complete Phase 2 of the project. She says the team has applied for many grants and they are actively doing fundraisers to try to complete the project. “Community recreation facilities are essential to improving the quality of life of the student body and the surrounding community as a whole,” she says. “Our hope in realizing this project is to offer many different outdoor activities for community members, as well as organizing tournaments to keep raising funs for the upkeep of our courts. Being physically active outdoors is proven to help the body, mind, and spirit.” Aubin says the committee will be sending out letters in January to the community to request donations to complete Phase 2. She adds they will be selling seeds from Make It Sow Fundraiser in February, they’ll be holding a prize calendar in April and a garage sale in June. “We truly believe that this project will foster a symbiotic relationship allowing community engagement within the school and school engagement within the community, something that has been missing throughout the pandemic,” she says. “The execution and completion of this project will almost certainly encourage new sporting clubs and drop in nights to be formed,” she concludes.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter - South Peace News - southpeacenews.com

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News