Airdrie Regional Recreation Enhancement Society's mandate nearly fulfilled
The final phase at Genesis Place Recreational Centre, is nearly complete and the arena portion of Airdrie’s state of the art new complex is scheduled to open its doors to the public on Aug. 19.
With a $20.2 million price tag for phase three, it’s far from cheap and fundraising from organizations such as the Airdrie Regional Recreation Enhancement Society (ARRES) is integral.
Members of the ARRES executive board were given a tour of the arena on Aug. 8 and fundraising support specialist Megan Raaflaub O’Reilly was thrilled to see the project so close to completion.
“I’ve had tours before when the arena was being built,” said Raaflaub O’Reilly. “To see the ice actually in there now and the logos going in, it’s a fantastic feeling to see the culmination of everything.”
ARRES is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 2001 and was established specifically to support the development of Genesis Place. The organization has committed to raising $4 million for phase three of the project through a number of different avenues including fundraising, grants, gifts in kind and procuring corporate sponsorships for the building.
Sponsors will have their companies recognized according to the level of sponsorship. Shane Homes from Calgary and Rocky View County are two key sponsors and as a result, each have an ice surface in their name thanks to sponsorships valued at $350,000 each.
Airdrie’s McKee Homes contributed a $100,000 sponsorship for the building’s west lobby.
To date, ARRES has raised over $8 million for Genesis Place with a bit less than $2 million remaining to be raised of the $4 million committed to phase three’s Raise the Rinks campaign, which will bring the organization’s total contribution to close to $10 million since 2001.
ARRES has been functioning as an umbrella organization that includes ice user groups such as Airdrie Minor Hockey Association, Airdrie Ringette and the Airdrie Skate Club.
Airdrie Director of Community Services Michelle Lock was a part of ARRES’ establishment in 2001.
“The whole purpose (of ARRES) is to work together to bring support to recreation in the community,” said Lock.
Organizations like ARRES not only help to support recreation and the addition of high quality facilities, but they help lessen the financial burden that these facilities can often carry.
“Whatever ARRES raises is money that the municipal government doesn’t have to take from tax base or provincial grants,” said Lock.
Once the doors open to the arena and the last of the $4 million has been committed the mandate of the current board will have been fulfilled.