Fundraising target met for Breslau splash pad

Last updated on Aug 17, 23

Posted on Aug 17, 23

3 min read

The Breslau fundraising group has reached its goal of raising $350,000 for a long-awaited splash pad in the village.

A grant from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation and an anonymous donation helped organizers meet their target.

The project will be a central resource and meeting place for a relatively spread-out community that is home to a growing number of new residents, suggests David Giacomazzi, a volunteer with the fundraising group. 

“We see the pavilion in Breslau’s Memorial Park, it’s busy, there’s multi-generation families using it. People are having picnics. And it’s really going to create a really nice space for the community to come together and possibly meet neighbours that you wouldn’t  [normally] meet because you’re not side by side.

“It’s good, it’s going to bring people out and outside more and use the splash pad, and the Lyle Hallman Foundation felt that that was exactly the criteria they’re looking for to provide a donation.”

Woolwich will oversee the maintenance and operation of the splash pad, says Blake Miller, project supervisor.

“The community group has been vital in bringing this project to fruition. Staff look forward to continuing working with the community group to implement this great addition to the settlement of Breslau,” he said.

“Procurement of the splash is planned for this fall, with an anticipated completion in spring 2024,” he added. “There will be a grand opening and use will begin in spring of 2024.”

Fundraising for the splash pad has been ongoing since 2012.

Giacomazzi donated to the splash pad when his kids were still young. He then joined the fundraising group two years ago when the original fundraising volunteers reached out to the community asking for help.

“I donated years ago when my kids were smaller. Now they’re much older and probably won’t use the splash pad. There’s been a lot of negative comments from the community about the amount of time it’s taken to get the funds raised. I just felt that instead of sitting back and not helping, I wanted to throw my hat in the ring and help them achieve their goals. And that’s exactly what a couple of us did. There are a few of us that joined the team – more hands make less work and more traction.”

He said that the group met every two weeks to report to each other on their progress, noting the cause started to gain fresh momentum with a significant donation from Conestoga Meat Packers in 2022.

“Conestoga Meats coming with their donation – it was a big donation – showed commitment from an organization within our community. It was a springboard to use when talking to other corporations as well.”

Cheryl de Slegte, Michelle Barnard and Jeff Barnard originally started fundraising for the splash pad, and they’re happy to have reached the goal.

“It’s such a relief,” said de Slegte.

“Early on, it was identified that we needed more recreational facilities here. A splash pad was identified because there’s no pool or splash pad close to Breslau – it’s all out of town and people have to travel. So we picked a splash pad as our project we wanted to bring to Breslau,” said Jeff Barnard of the Lions Club involvement .

The trio says it was difficult at times to continue going forward with the project over the years. “It was the determination, because everybody said, ‘ Oh you guys can’t do this,’ So we were determined that we were going to do this,” said de Slegte.

“We knew we needed more people, because we were a small club,” said Barnard. “That’s when we opened it up to our community to bring more people on.”

Giacomazzi  acknowledged the support of  Ruby Weber from the Woolwich Recreational Facility Foundation and Bill Smith from the Breslau and District Recreation Association for their guidance and partnership, as well as the other donors in the community who helped make the splash pad reality. Other donors include Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and Empire Communities.

“This is a huge group effort,” said Giacomazzi. “Once we get this project delivered, I think it will show the community that we’re working with the township, we can get things like this. I think the community doesn’t feel that we can get things like this because the project has taken as long as it has, and people donated a long time ago and didn’t see the result. I know it’s taken a while to get us here, but I think that we have the right attitude and I think the community’s getting behind us.”

Giacomazzi says he feels the splash pad is the start of more good things to come for the community, adding the community really needs is a town core to connect the various neighbourhoods in Breslau, particularly the Thomasfield Homes development in the north with the Riverland subdivision in the south, as he feels getting around by foot is difficult and sometimes dangerous on the busy roads.

; ; ;

Share on

Post In: