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Fort Macleod Trade Show silent auction to benefit playground group

The proceeds from a silent auction at the Fort Macleod Trade Show will go to a new water park and playground equipment at Centennial Park.
The Fort Macleod Trade Show runs Friday, April 25 from 1-9 p.m. and Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
Trade show organizers turned over the silent auction to the Fort Macleod Playground Committee. In previous years, proceeds from the silent auction have been donated to the Fort Macleod Fire Department.
The playground committee will have drawings on display and an explanation of the project at the Fort Macleod Trade Show
Silent auction items donated as of Tuesday include two handmade baby quilts, a queen size handmade quilt, garden ornament, handmade cards, two paintings, nativity scene made from red clay, weight gym, Accurate Spray Foam gift certificate, Princess House item, picnic blanket, coffee mugs, barbecue tools, 183-piece socket set and a DeWalt impact drill.
The Fort Macleod Playground Committee had its beginnings in 2008 when a group of parents expressed concern about the state of playground equipment in Fort Macleod.
The equipment in the playgrounds was old, worn-out and in need of replacement so a committee was struck.
In a community such as Fort Macleod, with a large number of low-income families, the need is critical for free recreation opportunities. Research indicates 28 per cent of adults in Fort Macleod earn less than $25,000 a year, compared to the provincial average of $21,000. High-quality, welcoming playgrounds also assist in the fight against rising obesity rates in children.
The committee set refurbishing the Lioness Park playground as its first goal and by the fall of 2009 new structures had been installed. That project benefited from a $67,000 provincial Community Facility Enhancement Program grant, along with $22,000 from the Lions Club and $20,000 from the Town of Fort Macleod.
The committee’s next project was construction of a new natural playground in what was a vacant lot at 2114 7A Ave.
The natural playground received a $16,000 donation from the Rotary Club and $10,000 from the Wal-mart Evergreen Foundation along with plenty of volunteer labour and community support.
The committee’s third target is Centennial Park where the aging playground equipment no longer met provincial safety standards.
The committee has already started on Centennial Park, last year installing a $23,000 structure with new swings, slides and climbing structures.
The long range plan includes a spray park, walking path and picnic benches.
Construction of the spray park is to start this spring with the park to be open in August.
Also on the playground committee’s list of priorities is a structure at Centennial Park for children five year of age and under.
The committee has created a donation program to fund picnic tables and benches for Centennial Park.
The environment committee wants to create a xeriscape garden in Centennial Park.
The committee then intends to install a playground structure at Southeast Park.
The Fort Macleod Playground Committee is president Jill Burrows, vice-president Robert Rippen, secretary Angie O’Connor, treasurer Leslie-Anne Hornberger and directors Sharon Monical, Dan Smith, Dan Neels, Henk Vanee and Jacob Holwerda.

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