Fundraising for Prov beach playground is now complete

Tom Sasvari

The Recorder

PROVIDENCE BAY—The Providence Bay/Spring Bay Lions Club has now reached its fundraising goal for the Providence Bay beach playground project, thanks to funding provided and announced by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The Lions Club had partnered with Community Living Manitoulin (CLM) for the OTF funding.

“On April 3, we received confirmation of funding from the Trillium Foundation, through our partnership with CLM, who had made the application for us in the amount of $40,000,” Brian Mitchell, president of the Lions Club, stated last Friday. “We have reached our fundraising target of $100,000, thanks mostly to local help and support. They (CLM) made the funding application as the Lions, being a service club, are not a charitable organization and would not be eligible for this type of grant.”

“This is a massive project,” said Mr. Mitchell, pointing out the playground project has already had roughly 100 people sign up as volunteers to help with construction of the new playground on Build Day, April 28, but a lot more people are needed.

“We have had quite a few people sign up for Build Day and quite a few say they will show up, but if it is possible we would like them to confirm,” said Mr. Mitchell. He noted that Rob Cranston Construction will do the excavating work while Murray Dawson will take on the surveying work. Leo Jette of Island Welding has also volunteered to do the welding for the project.

“We need lots of volunteers to help out,” said Mr. Mitchell. “We have close to 100 so far, but we need a lot more people.”

The Lions Club has posted the new playground layout-design, which includes swings for youngsters and older kids, as well as much more playground equipment. Included in the design is a Mobi-Mat, which will be set up in the playground areas. The Mobi-Mat will mean wheelchair-bound people will have access to the beach and the playground area. The Mobi-Mat provides a hard surface that is easier on which to maneuvre a wheelchair or walker than sand. This allows disabled beachgoers the liberty to move around the area without having to leave their wheelchairs behind or worrying about getting stuck in the sand.

Mr. Mitchell added that, as part of the Lions Club fundraising campaign, the sale of tickets for a draw on a hand-made and designed quilt by Patricia MacDonald raised $1,000. The draw on the quilt was recently held and Shirley Hayward, a seasonal cottage owner in Providence Bay from London, won with the winning ticket.

The Lions Club, along with the Municipality of Central Manitoulin, plans to redesign and construct the new playground for the Providence Bay beach. The beach area, existing boardwalk and the interpretive centre are integral pieces of the community and will be enhanced by an integrated playground and adult fitness facility, and beach volleyball area.

People interested in volunteering for Build Day are encouraged to register by contacting Mr. Mitchell at 705-377-5053 or going on line at to register.