Mike McLellan also known as The Drifter performs at the second annual Battle of the Bands on Feb. 24 at the AJ LaRue Community Centre. The event raised $800 and kicked off a large capital campaign for the Junction Skatepark with the goal of raising $100000 in 100 days. ANGELICA INGRAM Staff

Skate park gets financial infusion

By Angelica Ingram

Published March 7 2017

Less than a week after the municipality of Dysart launched a capital campaign for the new skate park in Haliburton community organizations have stepped up and dedicated large sums of money to the project.

On Feb. 24 Dysart Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts announced a campaign titled $100000 in 100 days in the hopes of raising the final amount of money needed to construct a new skate park this year.
On March 2 the Haliburton Business Improvement Area announced they would be donating $25000 to the skate park.

BIA president Luke Schell said he only has to look to the town of Madoc to prove how a skate park and area designated for youth can contribute to a small town’s vibrancy.

“I used to drive back and forth from Kingston pretty regularly” he said. “Before that skate park I thought Madoc looked like one of those towns that might be left behind as the retail world changed. I thought it wasn’t a very progressive town. And they put that family activity park in and now I think of Madoc as a caring and vibrant community.”

Schell said the decision to donate $25000 to the skate park was a unanimous one for the BIA executive.

The BIA is made up of approximately 80 businesses located throughout the central downtown of the village.

“The downtown merchants are a perfect fit for expressing care for their youth in this community” said Schell. “I’m really hopeful that in the future we expand the skate park to be more of a family activity park.”

The funds will come from the organization’s general budget and some savings accrued over the past few years said Schell.

“We are all very pleased to have the opportunity to do this” he said.

The estimated total cost of the project is between $150000 to $200000 according to Dysart recreation coordinator Andrea Mueller. Prior to the capital campaign kicking off $70000 had been raised.

The park will be relocated to the former ball diamond location adjacent to the AJ LaRue arena in Haliburton Village. There will be a donor wall featuring those who contributed $1000 or more to the project.

There have been numerous fundraising events held during the past few years for the project including two Battle of the Band nights and other initiatives.

The hope is to begin construction on the project this summer.

The Haliburton Rotary Club has also committed to match the municipality up to $25000 towards the skate park.

Other generous donations the skate park has  received include from Walker’s Home Hardware and Viper Marketing.