The Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground is slated to open on Aug. 24 to correspond with the completion of renovations at the nearby Westhills Stadium.
That means the Rotary Club of West Shore is up against a hard deadline for coming up with the $250,000 needed to buy playground equipment for the new memorial park.
“The equipment has been ordered. Now we need to find some money to pay for it,” said Rotary member Dianna Seaton. “We’re definitely not halfway there, long way to go.”
West Shore residents felt a great loss after local RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett was killed in the line of duty, noted Seaton. For the community, donating to a park in her name has been a “special way of expressing your feelings,” she said.
The positive response from residents and businesses has been “overwhelming,” she added. “People have been great.”
Beckett, a mother of two, was killed by a drunk driver in April 2016.
The Rotary has so far come up with a variety of new initiatives to help raise the rest of the money.
Grant requests are being sent to municipalities and View Royal has already given $5,000. Donation boxes are being set up at municipal halls and donations over $25 are receivable online at westshorerotary.org.
The amount of money raised this past weekend during Easter celebrations on Millstream Village was “significant,” Seaton said.
Rotarians will be setting up a table at Pacific FC’s inaugural game this Sunday. They are hoping residents donate to have an engraved brick (plus a tax receipt) surround the playground, at the cost of $200.
They will be able to have a short message inscribed in the brick. Up to five hundred bricks are available, which if all sell could net $100,000.
While no dates have been set, organizations have offered to host fundraising events. A car wash or a barbecue at the Shamrocks games have been suggested so far and could very well be in the offering.
The playground, once complete, would have one area with equipment suitable for two to five-year-olds, and one area for five to 12 year olds, according to the city website.