By Lyonel Doherty
Randee Ede and Amanda Workman have shown professional fundraisers how it’s done in small town Oliver.
It only took one year for the ladies to turn an idea into a nearly completed project that many locals can take credit for.
While you can’t see it yet, the Oliver Community Park Project is basically funded and ready for tender.
Ede said the park project has raised $23,000, and recently received a $22,000 donation from the Kiwanis Club of Oliver. A big announcement is slated for September 7 when corporate funding will be revealed.
Ede said the playground will be geared to toddlers up to five years old. A meeting of stakeholders has yet to determine what play equipment will be purchased. She noted the wheelchair-accessible play area near the south end parking lot and washrooms will be fenced and rubber matted.
Ede said she was surprised at how much support they received from the community, and even more surprised that it only took them a year to reach tender. She thought it was going to take two years.
Ede stated that once word got out on social media, many parents came forward to support the project.
In many cases Ede and Workman didn’t have to ask for help, it just materialized. “Parents have been great, really supportive,” Ede said.
Local businesses also jumped on board to donate items and prizes for various fundraisers.
Now the children can’t wait for the big day when the playground opens, possibly this fall.
Oliver Parks and Recreation manager Carol Sheridan said the fundraising was so successful because it was spearheaded by parents whose children use the playground. In fact, she noted it was one of the most successful community fundraising projects she has seen in her career. She said everyone somehow contributed to the goal, adding that many parents took it upon themselves to do their own fundraising for the project.
Sheridan believes the new playground will be well utilized since there was a “huge boom” of babies born in Oliver last year.