Royals reach target of a thousand letters for Trudeau

By Sheldon Spackman
November 11, 2017 - 12:49am

The Red Deer Royals are hoping a huge show of community support recently will help them secure half a million dollars in federal funding to finish paying for their new home, the Kinsmen Fieldhouse at St. Joseph High School.

A letter campaign launched by the popular marching band this fall to collect at least 1,000 signatures by November 1 in support of their request of $500,000 in funding from the federal government, resulted in 1,036 signatures being collected. The requested amount would pay off the bulk of the remaining balance owed on the Kinsmen Fieldhouse's $2.7 million price tag.

The letters of support, complete with signatures, will now be taken directly to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by Red Deer - Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins.

Calkins says the Royals have already been doing some fundraising to help finish paying for the new fieldhouse, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to access federal infrastructure money to help out.

“The problem that they’re facing now is that the project is already constructed and completed,” said Calkins. “It’s always harder to get the money afterwards, so this will be an appeal. My job as the MP is to make the appeal to the Government of Canada on behalf of the Royals and that’s what I’ll be doing through those letters and saying, ‘Given the fact that there wasn’t an avenue forward prior to construction, is there a way to help this organization out with the next budget?’”

“I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic, but at this point in time, it looks post-construction that the only thing that we could actually get is a budget line item in the budget 2018, so that’s the appeal I’ll make,” added Calkins.

Glen Pangle, President of the Red Deer Royals Alumni Association, says they have a fundraising deadline of December 31 that they’re trying to meet, but do have provisions written into their agreement with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools in case they don’t reach that goal.

“We simply have to continue fundraising if we don’t have it all by the deadline. There could perhaps be various adjustments to compensate for that until we get it fully paid for.” Pangle adds however, they’re still appealing to the federal government, “We’re still appealing to other institutions and organizations and specific fundraising drives such as Build-A-Brick, there’s a matching donation campaign that will put a big push on for the end of the year, that sort of thing.”

Financial contributions made to the Fieldhouse so far include $250,000 from the City of Red Deer, $250,000 from the Provincial Government, $600,000 from the Red Deer Kinsmen and $525,000 in private fundraising, thanks to the efforts and hard work of the Red Deer Royals Alumni Association.

For more information on the Red Deer Royals and the fundraising campaign, click here.

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