L.A.P.A. launches final fundraising

The Lacombe Athletic Park Association is beginning its push to raise money and organize funding to complete the final phase

  • Sep. 19, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The Lacombe Athletic Park Association is beginning its push to raise money and organize funding to complete the final phase of a project that started with a dream over seven years ago.

The rubberized surfaced track and accompanying field athletics facilities will have a price tag of about $1.2 million dollars. This will be the final major phase of construction and allow for new groups and an increased number of citizens to utilize the park.

Marketing Chairperson Matt Panelli is excited about the new efforts to organize the funding of the final phase.

“There has been a lot of interest from new running groups to get involved in our association and help us fundraise and there is still a lot of interest from the corporate community and social groups to be part of building a facility of this quality for our kids and community,” said Panelli.

The L.A.P.A. has spent the last several months confirming interest in the track from user groups.

MEGlobal Athletic Park is home to LCHS rugby, soccer and football teams, Central Alberta Field Lacrosse and several football organizations in Central Alberta.

The facility has hosted soccer, rugby, running events, sports camps and non-sports community events in the past few years. It is expected about 40,000 people enter the facility throughout the year.

The track with field event facilities will only increase these numbers dramatically, officials say.

“Over the next few months we will be meeting with the City of Lacombe and Wolf Creek School Division to gauge their interest in the final phase of our project,” said Darren Gagnon, L.A.P.A. chairperson.

“The district’s schools would be a major user of the track and field facility and we want to see how much value it could be to them as a teaching and extra-curricular center, and MEGlobal Athletic Park continues to be an economic stimulant to our entire community. To date both the groups have supported our efforts and we are sure they will support us moving forward in any way they can.”

The L.A.P.A. has subleased the Wolf Creek School division land from the City of Lacombe, and has fundraised for the capital construction of the facilities.

They now operate MEGlobal Athletic Park with the mandate to provide a premier outdoor sports venue for minor sports in Lacombe and Central Alberta at costs far less than at other facilities in western Canada. The project has cost $4 million and the facility has a $200,000 annual budget including a capital reserve fund.

To date the L.A.P.A. has raised over $2 million of this money through fundraising, private donations and corporate sponsorship and organized the rest through grants and government investment.

– Vossen