A sizable donation was just given to the Portage Junk Yard Dogs Cycling Club as a matching amount to what the community has provided. It's for their new project to turn the old dump hill at the ramp to Highway 240 to Southport into a multi-faceted public activity park.
Club president Blair Geisel shares his reaction to Kevin and Iris Yuill's donation.
"It's been fantastic," says Geisel. "The donation that the Yuills are providing is having a great effect on this project. It's put us way ahead of the game and it's leveraged lots of money from the community. The Yuills presented $30,000 which is matching the $30,000 that we've collected from the community to date, and they will donate a maximum of $100,000."
He notes this means there are plenty of opportunities for you to contribute to the park and leverage this money from the Yuills' donation.
"I think it really appeals to people that if they give $20, $30 or whatever, that someone else is putting an equal amount in," continues Geisel. "They're doubling their money when they contribute to the park. We thank the Yuills for having the initiative to do that."
Geisel says this year, they're going to repair the toboggan run and secure the site so that there's no longer any damage to the toboggan run and the infrastructure that will be put in place.
"A lot of vehicle traffic has caused some damage to the dump, which is a bit of an environmental problem, as well as what it could do to our trails up there," adds Geisel. "Very likely we will get started doing some trail development in the fall. When when I say trail development, we have contracted with a builder from a British Columbia professional trail builder. This fall we may get started on doing some of the cycling and hiking trails, and very likely it'll all be done in by spring of next year."
If you'd like to contribute, you can go to the Portage Junkyard Dogs website where there is a page for the Junk Yard Park with information about the Junk Yard Dogs, the project that they're working on, and also how to donate.
"The city is a partner in this project, and they're collecting the money so they can issue tax receipts," notes Geisel. "So, donors will get tax receipts that they can use for a tax credit. They can send that money by E-transfer, or just drop a cheque off at the city. But there are instructions on our website on how to do that."
Geisel adds they've received some sizable donations, and to date have about $365,000 collected in terms of grants and donations of the $800,000 that they require to do the whole project.
Kevin Yuill says he's excited to see people getting behind the effort. He shares what it feels like to see so much funding come in.
"We made the promise, and it's good to be fulfilling our part of it," says Yuill. "It also means that there are quite a few others that have stepped up to the plate. It's good to see that it's a community effort and every $20 counts. We hope that we have to spend the whole $100,000. That's our commitment toward it, and I hope that there are lots of extra donations so that we can do the whole project and get it done quickly. It'll be fantastic for everybody to be able to use when it's done."