BY MIKE WILSON
SPECIAL TO THE MINTO EXPRESS
CLIFFORD – The Clifford Recreation Association (CRA) is more than halfway to its $72,000 fundraising goal to fund light standards, fencing and dugouts at the new baseball diamond in Clifford Rotary Park.
CRA has raised $48,000 to date.
The Clifford Rotary Club has donated $20,000 to the project. Grein’s Men’s Fastball donated $6,130.42, the Clifford Curling Club and Minto Fire Department Clifford station donated $5,000. The Clifford Lions Club has also donated $2,000.
CRA members are hopeful that they can raise the remaining cash by the spring.
“We have applied for a Trillium Grant to help us raise a portion of the remaining money,” said Randy Ruetz, president of CRA. “But we are confident we can raise the remaining funds by the spring.”
With the closure of the old Clifford ball diamond, CRA has plans to make sure that the history of the old ball diamond is preserved.
“A lot of good times were had at that diamond,” said Ruetz. “And we want to make sure that those stories are preserved and remembered.”
To thank everyone for their support of this project, CRA hosted a community showcase at the Community Hall on Sept. 17. The showcase featured a free barbecue put on by the Clifford Rotary Club, booths set up by various organizations in Clifford (such as the curling club, Women’s Pick Up Hockey, and local churches), and booths from local businesses.
Also included in the showcase were cheque presentations from various community groups to CRA. The showcase also gave CRA a chance to recognize all of their sponsors, supporters and volunteers for their hard work and financial support.
“To see the local clubs and organizations working together as one group with one goal in mind, it is nice to see,” said Ruetz.
He was quick to thank the board of directors for CRA - Karen Dowler, Cindy Reading, Lorne Underwood, Brad Richardson, Perry Weber, Bill Raynard, Kaylee Hummel, Al Carr (Town of Minto representative), Hope Robertson and Paul Wightman – for all of their time, hard work and dedication to make CRA work.
He also thanked many local organizations – Larry Grummett Insurance, Wightman Telecom, WC Smith Wholesale, Weber Contracting, Clifford Rotary Club, RBC Clifford Branch, and the Redwood Restaurant – for their financial contributions towards ice time at the Clifford Arena.
“Their financial assistance helps us keep the cost of ice time and programs down,” stated Ruetz.
“I also want to thank the groups that put a booth together for tonight’s event,” he continued. “Without the support of everyone here, this event would not be possible.”
Ruetz encouraged those in attendance with ideas for the arena, or programs or events that they think would work in the Clifford facility, they are welcome to bring them to CRA.
“We welcome any suggestions and ideas for uses for the facilities. You can bring those ideas forward if you need help, or don’t know where to start with them,” said Ruetz. “The CRA is here to help and support you.”