It was one year ago this month that it was decided that the Grand Bend Home & School Association would start fundraising for a new wheelchair accessible playground for the children of Grand Bend Public School and the youth of the community. The goal was $70,000, daunting to say the least. It was through grant applications, letters to Grand Bend community organizations, H&S fundraisers and public donations that our goal was reached. There are so many people to thank, and thank you just does not seem to suffice. It is because of the people in this town that we can be so proud and that our children are being given such a great start in life. The children are so excited to be getting a new playground that all of them will be able to play on every day.
There are so many organizations and individuals that I would like to thank: The Grand Bend Rotary Club; they were the first to lend support. It shot us forward, knowing that without a doubt we would succeed. The Grand Bend Royal Canadian Legion not only supported us, but also enjoyed partying with us along the way. The Grand Bend Lioness are a wonderful, thoughtful group who I enjoyed sharing a “spot” of tea with. From Lakesmith Conservation I received some life lessons over coffee, tucked some future metaphors in my pocket for later use and got the biggest hugs. Kause for Kids Easy Riders led by Nelson Desjardine donated the last of their fundraising efforts to our cause. Thanks to Grand Bend Mariners Hockey Team, Grand Bend Women’s Institute, Sunrise Garden Centre and the Grand Bend Community Foundation. The Million Dollar Round Table grant would not have happened if it weren’t for Mr. Brian Hall of Waypoint Financial. Thanks to Mr. Paul Ciufo from Godbolt Ciufo Insurance & Financial Services. Thank you to the Grand Bend Optimist Club, where I have gained many new friends. Thanks to all of you who sacrificed the calories for our children with the yummy Smile Cookies, and Brian and Cheryl Dallner from Grand Bend Tim Horton’s. Thank you to Jennison Construction who will always have a special place in my heart. Huron Woods Inc., Hayter’s Turkeys, DJ T&A. Thank you to Bob Uhrig of Grand Bend Sobey’s, who works well with short notice and to Mac’s Milk customers who spared their change. Thanks to Casey from the Grand Bend Strip and Lynda from the Lakeshore Advance who did what they do best, get the word out. Special thanks to all the Grand Bend families that supported our fundraisers throughout the year. Thanks to ALL the children, who not only danced their way to a huge contribution, but also those who dug into their own piggy banks… honorable mentions are Paige Elliott, Hunter Penford, Aylish Betts, Ava Duffield, Bridget Donaldson and Caleb Rood. Many people made personal donations including long time friends Cam & Randi Ivey whom I love dearly. Randi started the H&S at GBPS and also fundraised for the original playground structure at the school. Some passions never die. Peter & Esther Warner, Tony & Fran Relouw, Richard Webb, and Stephanie Donaldson endlessly give to our community. Grand Bend is a community but has proven to be more than that; we are family. To our family at GBPS, teachers, staff, students and our H&S members, thank you. It has been quite a year for all of us. The glue that holds any family together are the friends you can count on to weather the ups and downs. Special thanks to Craig Wiseman for his endless patience and I am compelled to thank my children Ridley & Aidan. Without them I would not have discovered the thrill of such an amazing event. Thank you to Jennifer Maguire my co-chair, who has been by my side from the beginning. Susan Patton is the world’s best cheerleader. Honorable mentions to Andrea Matheson, Erin Sageman, Kaleigh Clemens, Jennifer Blackhall, Jennifer Mossop, Julie Beattie and Kelly Stanlake for assisting in our many playground fundraisers. Thanks to Susan Manz for her continuous support to us and our children. We hope to see everyone at the unveiling of the playground in June. Heartfelt appreciation to all involved.