LABRADOR CITY, N.L.
Labrador City Canadian Tire’s 2018 Jumpstart program once again provided a large windfall to aspiring athletes in Labrador West, but the town is also getting a huge bonus this year.
On Nov. 1, Glen Reddemann, the store’s associate dealer presented a $20,000 donation to the town for an indoor playground.
“We’re thrilled to be part of a community that looks after itself and each other,” Reddemann said. “The folks here have been extremely generous in giving back and we were thrilled to be able to come up with a pretty good idea to help Labrador West come up with a great facility.”
The $20,000 was the reward from Canadian Tire corporate for the local store winning a contest in the annual Jumpstart campaign conducted in June.
Labrador City Mayor Wayne Button was on hand to receive the donation.
“It felt great,” he said. “This is something the residents have wanted for a while and when we heard Canadian Tire was going to donate $20,000 we were ecstatic. It really, really helps and it’s a good initiative for the community.”
While the fundraising effort was conducted by the staff at Canadian Tire, Reddemann credited the community at large.
“The fact that it was funds generated by the community for the community, by folks that are working in the community, I think it generates a little bit more excitement than just free money,” he said. “It’s everybody working together for a common goal and basically helping kids in the community.”
The mayor also praised the residents.
“For whatever reason, Labrador City is really prided on local foundations,” Button said. “People really want to give back to the community specifically.”
The town is planning on having a playground up and running in 2019 by converting the meeting room at the arena, said Adam Smith, the town’s parks and recreation director.
“We view this development as a small pilot project to evaluate the need and usage while we move forward on our future Lifestyle Centre development,” Smith wrote in an email. “Although on a small scale, the possible success of such an area will define what an indoor playground of a greater size may be when the new Labrador West Lifestyle Centre comes to be in the upcoming years.”
Smith could not give a firm date for the new centre, but said the town is looking at a timeframe of four or five years.
Reddemann believes the playground will be a big plus for the town in the interim.
“Typically, here in Labrador City we’re in some pretty harsh weather for seven or eight months of the year and getting outside and doing some fun stuff with a youngster is not necessarily real nice in minus-40,” he said. “If you’re a family that’s got more than one child, you can have the one playing organized sports at the rec centre, while you’re taking the toddler that you would normally have to drag along because he can’t stay home alone — you’ve got something there for them to do as well.”
The $20,000 is on top of $16,000 raised for Jumpstart that helps kids who need assistance in the community where the funds are raised to get involved in organized sports, whether through equipment or league fees or other expenses.
The mayor said the local Canadian Tire has gone above and beyond in the past as well, noting that in 2014 they won a contest that brought Chicago Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews to the town.
“The Jumpstart foundation has been nothing but great for our community the last four to five years for sure,” Button said.