Grant money benefits Drew

A group of committed volunteers met at the Drew Memorial Community Centre to see the mayor accept a $10,000 grant from Hydro One on Dec. 16..

Over 30 years ago, Brian Darroch stepped up to the plate to be the chairman of the centre and still holds the title. He told everyone that undertaking a project to improve the lighting at the Drew Ball Diamond in 2009 led to the discovery of another upgrade project and the need for more cash.

Gerald Koeslag was grateful to work alongside Recreation Program Director Matt Lubbers who helped them secure an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant worth $15,000.00 for the original proposed project.

The Foundation is proud to support organizations which builds healthy and vibrant communities in this great province.

During the installation of the lights, it was determined that underground wiring, fencing, and safety issues would need to be addressed. Appealing to the local level of government, the committee was able to obtain a bridge loan to compensate for the shortfall.

During the year, volunteers host an annual pork barbecue in July that earns close to $3,000 that helps keep the centre open for showers, reunions, company parties, special events, and monthly card parties. The need for another $12,000 for the lights turned their thoughts to more grants and fundraising ideas. Fortunately, Ron Matthews stopped by the diamond on his way home and discussed with Gerald Koeslag the possibility of a grant through the company’s Power Play Program.

Hydro One Representatives Ron Matthews and Deb Feeney work out of Listowel, with Amy Bishop in Kincardine. Their area runs from Port Elgin to Flesherton to Conn, Arthur, Elmira, Mitchell, and Goderich with in excess of 55,000 poles. Nowadays, communities need to have their playgrounds regulated for children, and sometimes there just isn’t enough money to meet the standards. Hydro One sets aside funds to give back to the communities they service. All requests are rated.

Matthews felt is was awesome to present a cheque in the amount of $10,000.00 so close to home. ‘This is special to my heart. For 54 years I have lived one side road over from the diamond.’ 

Matthews and Deb Feeney offered a oversized cheque to Mayor George Bridge and Matt Lubbers expressing, thanks to the Town of Minto and the elected officials for supporting events like this.

Huge congratulations to the children, volunteers, and committee. It feels great to give back to the future of communities, so children have a safe place to play. The plaque on the wall reads, Hydro One – Partners in Powerful Communities.

Mayor Bridge has seen the vibrancy of the community at events and hopes to be back for the barbecue.

He thanked Hydro One for coming to the rescue.

Committee members were also eager to accept the donation – Brian Darroch, Gerald Koeslag, Evelyn Menkveld, Perry Weber, Bruce Shannon, and Dale Ersman; as well as children and grandchildren, Alvina, Macy, and Leah Dykstra; Nathan and Nicolas Weber; Stephanie Menkveld; and volunteers Lois Whetham, Anne Darroch, Ken MacKenzie, County Councillor Mark MacKenzie, Tammy Weber, Marg Shannon, Audrey and Bill Gibson, Keith Derbecker, and Bill Menkveld.