PONOKA - The sparkle and glow of new Christmas lights in Lions Centennial Park are brightening up the night thanks to the hard work of community volunteers this past weekend.
"The idea of decorating the northeast corner of Centennial Park with additional Christmas lights was spearheaded by the Town of Ponoka Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee, but it didn’t take long before several other community members stepped up to offer their help," says Justin Kelly, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee.
Ponoka Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) donated just over $5,100 to the Christmas light project through the organization’s Canada 150 Great Neighbours Grant. The Ponoka Lions Club donated 37 boxes of LED lights. The Centennial Park Playground Committee contributed $781.97 to the project from donated funds leftover from the new playground that was built in the park two summers ago. The Ponoka Gymnastics & Trampoline Club donated $200. Town & Country Supplies donated the use of a scissor lift for the project, and Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett donated his time to dig a trench for power upgrades required for the project, which Phase 3 Electric helped install at a discounted rate. The Town of Ponoka is also funding the electrical costs to operate the Christmas lights.
“We had a small army of volunteers, including members of the Ponoka Kinettes Club, who showed up on Saturday afternoon to help string the lights,” says Kelly. “Our committee would like to sincerely thank everyone who donated their time, energy and financial gifts to decorate the park with Christmas lights this weekend.”
“We have more lights coming in this week, which we plan to run along the fence line and on the gazebo at the north end of the park on Saturday,” says Kelly, “We hope to expand the number of Christmas lights in the park each year going forward with the help of additional community donations and grants. It’s a project that our committee plans to continue supporting.”
The Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee still has plans to install a skating path in Centennial Park, weather permitting, with the help of the Ponoka County Fire Department, which has offered to build and maintain the skating trail, and the Town of Ponoka which is donating rubber mats for skaters to walk on from the gazebo at the north end of the park to the skating trail.
“We’ve had a few other groups express interest in helping with that project, so we’re hoping the weather will cooperate so we can get started on building the skating trail in the New Year,” says Kelly.
Anyone interested in donating to the Christmas light project for 2018 is invited to contact Justin Kelly at 403-704-7042.
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