Following a successful NHL alumni fundraiser, the Rotary Club of Portage la Prairie is excited to move forward.
This past November, alumni from both the Winnipeg Jets and Portage Terriers played a game, taking the ice with community members. Rotary media relations director, Preston Meier, says their share of the money earned, which is just under $9,000, will go toward their four ongoing projects. These projects are their commitment to Rotary Republic Park, the Rotary Skateboard Park, the Rotary Duck Pond, and their Student Exchange program.
"It goes without saying, if the community didn't support it through sponsorships and attending the event, you couldn't have them," explains Meier. "To be able to see the support that we got for it from all levels, including some of the businesses, it's just really phenomenal to see this piece come together."
Meier notes the Rotary Club is ecstatic to receive this boost regarding the four projects.
"The commitment to the Rotary Republic Park was a ten-year, $50,000 commitment that the Rotary Club had about nine or ten years ago," explains Meier. "We had the last $5,000 payment to them that actually this year, so that commitment is done."
He adds they will continue to hold the naming rights to the park. Meier explains that they've also made a $50,000 commitment to the skatepark, so a portion of their funds will go to the Parks Committee in Portage.
The funds will also help the club complete the fourth and final phase of the duck pond, which includes setting up a games area, although they can't pick that project back up until spring. The club has also spoken about potentially welcoming multiple students from abroad as a part of its student exchange program.
"It has been something that we've explored," says Meier when asked about the possibility of another alumni game. "You don't want to run an event like this every year, of course. So, every two, three, or four years, depending on the timeline, we'd like to do that."