With Two recent corporate donations, the Breslau splash pad is closer to becoming a reality more than 10 years after it was first contemplated.
The Breslau Community Fundraising Group received $50,000 from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) in March. That was followed by a $75,000 donation from Empire Communities, developers of the Riverland subdivision in the village’s south end.
“TMMC has been a proud member of Waterloo Region for over 35 years. We’re passionate about improving the community that our team members and their families live, work, and play in,” said Erin Buchanan-Gelinas, general manager of TMMC’s north plant, in a statement announcing the donation.
Daniel Guizzetti, co-CEO of Empire Communities, echoed that sentiment.
“We believe that this addition of a splash pad will positively impact young families in the Riverland neighbourhood, bringing more occasions to make memories and engage with the local community,” he said in announcing the company’s support for the project.
The donations mean the committee has raised 88 per cent of the $275,000 cost of the project, which is a significant increase over the 30 per cent it had raised by a year earlier.
Getting support from larger companies is “absolutely critical,” noted splash pad committee member David Giacomazzi.
“Especially when you have a large amount of money to raise, with smaller corporations, they just don’t have the funds to put big dollars against this. We’ve been working with Empire and Toyota for some time trying to get some donation funds from them, and it was a good time for them and good time for us that everything’s kind of coming together,” he said.
Locally, the committee did receive a $50,000 donation from Conestoga Meat Packers last year, and hosted several fundraisers that has seen residents contribute since the project was first proposed in 2012.
“You can imagine that there’s a tad bit of frustration in the community as well, and disbelief that it will ever be built, so I think it’s really great,” Giacomazzi said of the recent push towards the financial goal.
According to Giacomazzi, Woolwich Township has recently awarded a tender to carry out the engineering work at the community centre site. The fundraising committee hopes the pad will be completed sometime later this year. The pad will be approximately 153 square metres (1,650 sq. ft.) and feature some 15 water play structures. The township will pay for operating costs of around $30,000 per year, similar to the costs of the Elmira splash pad.
The splash pad will be a welcome addition to a community that does not have many amenities, Giacomazzi said.
“We don’t have anything like this close that’s within walking distance for all of the different families. It’s such a young area, so the amount of children in this area is huge. And Breslau continues to grow,” he noted.
“We really want our community to come together and have a spot for young families to possibly meet.”
The committee already is already thinking about other projects it could help bring to the area, depending on what residents would like to see happen, Giacomazzi added.