The Town of St. Marys can now officially add another feather to its recreation cap as the Ontario Trillium Foundation announced last week it will grant $70,000 toward the revitalization of the municipal tennis courts near the Quarry.
The grant will allow the town to proceed with an extensive overhaul of the aging courts, which were constructed 60 and 40 years ago and are showing signs of their age. A new surface will be installed, which will be smoother and safer for players, as well as gentler on joints. A new fence will also be erected.
Together, both projects are expected to improve the esthetics of an area that is often busy with tourists and residents alike during the summer months.
“I am very pleased that we were able to obtain this grant to help with the tennis court refurbishing,” says St. Marys Mayor Steve Grose, adding that” a group of very dedicated volunteers has worked tirelessly on this project and this grant will certainly help them reach their goal.”
The total cost for the project is approximately $200,000; the Trillium grant brings the total amount raised toward the project to $140,000. The Town of St. Marys has contributed $30,000 to the project (as well as new lights last year). The remainder is to be raised by the St. Marys Social Tennis Club, an organization which formed in 2011 to bring together local tennis enthusiasts as well as to draw attention to the poor condition of the courts.
“On behalf of the Province of Ontario, I congratulate the Town of St. Marys on being awarded this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. This support to improve local tennis courts will increase recreational opportunities for our community. I am very pleased that the Ontario Trillium Foundation has acknowledged the outstanding leadership of the Town and the St. Marys Social Tennis Club,” offered Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, in a news release.
“I cannot overstate how excited I am that the Ontario Trillium Foundation is supporting this project,” added St. Marys Social Tennis Club president Andrea Macko-Hodges, in the news release. “The natural surroundings of the tennis courts — the quarry, the river, and all the mature trees — make it a beautiful place to play. With this funding, the courts will soon be a beautiful — and safe — place to play on.”
Macko-Hodges adds: “Our members are so grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support of this project.”
The new courts will allow the Tennis Club to confidently offer lessons and other forms of instructions to all age groups, especially children, she noted. “Tennis is a great summer sport that requires little equipment or organization, and people of all ages can play together,” says Macko-Hodges.
“Sports and physical activities are so important to our community and the tennis courts will serve all age groups,” Grose says. “Perseverance truly pays off. Thank you to all the volunteers and those who have supported the project.”
The St. Marys Social Tennis Club has already raised over $40,000 toward the project, with $60,000 still to be raised via a corporate appeal and a number of fundraisers. All donors will receive a tax receipt from the Town of St. Marys, and a donor wall will be erected at the project’s completion.
Next up is the “Rusty Spring” doubles tournament on Saturday, May 24, with an entry fee of $20 per person and including a barbecue lunch. To register, contact Macko-Hodges at 519-280-1280.
Anyone wanting to get involved with the project, or just the tennis club, can come to a “mixer night” at the Parkview Creamery on Wednesday, May 7 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome . For info, visit www.stmarystennis.ca.