Some big projects are on the horizon in Stratford, ones that will help shape recreation in the city. They're costly, and they'll require plenty of community support.
First is the new splash pad that a citizens' group has lobbied for years to establish. After months of hard work, the campaign to raise funds for the pad was finally launched in September. The push is on to raise $470,000 by next spring, if possible.
So far, the fundraising committee has been buoyed by the support of community organizations such as The Rotary Club of Festival City, which has pledged $25,000, and the LINC Family Festival, which pitched in $1,000. Though it is hoped the public will dig into their wallets or empty their piggybanks to give generously, other avenues are also being pursued.
The splash pad committee is asking everyone to go online to the Aviva Community Fund Challenge website, www.avivacommunityfund.org, to vote for the local project. With enough support, $150,000 could be earned. Voting takes only a few seconds and is free. Certainly those who could not afford to give financially could still donate a bit of effort.
The second project is a bit further off, but plans are beginning to take shape for a new indoor soccer facility and outdoor premier pitch on a portion of the old fairgrounds land. No plans have been approved yet and the project is only in the visioning stage, but with costs estimated above $7 million, the Stratford Soccer Association (SSA) will surely need some help to see its dream realized.
In a recent interview, SSA secretary Tony Hunter said the organization is happy to accept pledges now, not only for the future build but to help cover the $150,000 cost associated with the recent purchase of soccer fields on Packham Road from private interests. No matter what type of recreation your family is interested in, there seems to be a project that needs your help in Stratford. We're sure either group would be thrilled to have your support.
– Gazette Staff