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OPP’s all–inclusive skate park wins the hearts of 100 Women Who Care

November 29, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

The fourth and final meeting for 2019 of 100 Women Who Care New Tecumseth took place last Thursday evening at the Gibson Centre.

100 Women is a grassroots movement with chapters across North America, and now here in New Tecumseth. During each one-hour quarterly meeting, up to four not-for-profit or charity organizations can present a case for help in a five-minute presentation. At the end of the evening, the women cast a vote and write a cheque for $100 each (with the potential to provide support up to $10,000 per meeting, based on membership). Women can also join as a team ($50 each) a foursome ($25 each), pay through e-transfer, or proxy in their vote if unable to attend in person.

At this meeting, three presenters took to the podium:

1. Alliston Out of the Cold – a pop-up shelter for residents of New Tecumseth facing homelessness or food insecurity. Presenter Jenifer Pergentile, AOOTC Executive Director, spoke on the need for support for the 2019–2020 winter season, where they can expect 737 unique shelter visits based on the two previous years the shelter has been open;

2. Canadian Mental Health Association of York & South Simcoe – presenting was Lindsay (a mental health counsellor) and Cathy, a Director. The organization sought funding for its MOBYSS (Mobile York South Simcoe) Ontario’s first and only travelling youth health clinic that provides ongoing counselling, basic health care services, and mental health support to youth aged 12–25. The MOBYSS bus is parked at Banting Memorial High School a few times a week;

3. All Wheels Park Strategy – Nottawasaga OPP Youth Officer, Const. Joseph Chamberlain and his committee, including Const. Katy Viccary and several youth ambassadors and youth leader Noelani Jacome-Schutz, presented their idea for an expanded, and inclusive, skate park for anything on wheels, including wheelchairs. The project will cost about $970,000 for the Alliston Riverdale Park project, with Tottenham and Beeton to follow.

“The All Wheels Legacy committee is super excited to introduce this project to the community,” Const. Chamberlain told The Times. “This project is youth driven and all aspects within – free play, education, volunteering, leadership, and safety. The committee is working hard on many fronts, including grant applications, corporate fundraising, and private community fundraising. 

“The 100 Women Who Care New Tecumseth was an excellent supportive group that sees the importance of an all inclusive All Wheels Park where every child will have an absolute blast and be supported.

“New Tecumseth Town Council has been super supportive of the initiative thus far.”

Currently the group is pushing for community financial support through a Go Fund Me account, and the OPP Youth Foundation charity funds. 

“Each of these donation methods are tax deductible with our charitable status,” said Const. Chamberlain. “Our goal is to raise $100,000 directly through the community. The remainder will be corporate and grant funds.”

Here is what we know about the All Wheels Park so far:

• The All Wheels Park Strategy was originally presented at the October 23 meeting of Council

• Led by Youth Officer, Const. Joseph Chamberlain, he describes the park as a “one-of-a-kind, modern-day park”

• Park will be at the Riverdale Park site, where the current 7,500 sq.ft. park will be removed to make way for the new one

• Tax dollars will pay for the environmental site assessment, partial fence removal and removal of current asphalt surface as promised by council

• The new concrete park will be roughly 10–12,000 sq.ft. and will be designed for skateboards, BMX bikes, scooters, rollerblades and wheelchairs

• Park designs costs have exceeded $15,000 – donated by New Line Skate Co. – and the new design is a “bowl shape”

• The Alliston park could cost about $970,000 plus tax to construct before donations. Chamberlain says they are hoping sod and port-a-potties will be contributed as well as other items to drive down the cost

• Aiming for a September 2020 open date in Alliston, with Tottenham and Beeton to follow in coming years

• Chamberlain says the park will create a destination in New Tecumseth that will attract day-trippers into the community, where they will spend time (4–6 hours, he hopes) and put money back into the local economy

• Lessons will be available at the Park on Saturdays by Evolved Camp of Toronto to create experiences for local families to share

• Students will be able to work towards their required 40-hour volunteer requirements at the Park

• The rail ($5–7K cost) at the Park will be painted pink as a symbol of anti-bullying 

• The All Wheels Park has a website (designed by students) and accounts with Instagram and Facebook to keep people up to date on project progress

100 Women Who Care chose the All Wheels Park as the recipient of funds for their November meeting.

“Thank you again to everyone who made it to our final meeting of 2019, sent in their proxy and payment, or joined us as new members,” said France Young, 100 Women New Tecumseth founder. “It was another positive and uplifting evening, hearing from three important, local initiatives.”

In all, 55 people attended, with six more proxy votes delivered. Thirteen new members were gained, and $4,700 received at the meeting (with 18 people and three teams still to pay). Final payment amounts were not available at press time for the All Wheels Park.

“Our funds will go directly toward sponsorship of a specific ramp and railing area that will be dedicated to our group including a small plaque, with the cement area painted pink,” said Young.

“With our newly added members, we are now at 91 members. We are thrilled by the growth of our group, but we still have lots more growing to do to get to the point where we can offer a $10,000 donation each quarter. Please remember to share your involvement with this incredible local initiative with your friends and neighbours who might also like to join.”


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