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Conestoga Meats pledges to match donations to Breslau splash pad

[Submitted]

The campaign to build a splash pad in Breslau got a big boost this week when Conestoga Meat Packers pledged to match donations up to $50,000.

“We just wanted to support the community and families in the community with the splash pad initiative. We think it’s a great thing for families to enjoy. Our tagline is ‘by families, for families,’ and we want to support the community,” said Conestoga Meats president Arnold Drung.

The Breslau-based cooperative has a long history of supporting the community, says David Giacomazzi of the Breslau Community Fundraising Group.

“They’re a really great corporation that gives back to the people of Breslau. There’s lots of people that work at Conestoga Meats that live here in Breslau. So it’s really great to have a company like that.

In the works since 2012, the splash pad was given another stamp of approval by Woolwich council in January. The 1,650-square-foot project is expected to cost $275,000 to build. Operating costs, estimated at $30,000 a year based on expenses at the Elmira splash pad, will be paid by the township.

It’s a big fundraising project for the community, but entirely worth it, says Giacomazzi.

“There’s not much here in Breslau and the closest splash pad within our township is Elmira. We’re a growing community, and I think that we have the footprint in order to have a splash pad. We have a lot of kids here… so this is one of the things that the community said ‘it would be nice if we had a splash pad,’” he explained.

“I think it’s money well spent. It’s not exactly a 10-minute drive [to Elmira] – it takes some time to get there. That’s our recreation centre where we’re supposed to be bringing our kids to go swimming and use those facilities, and we typically don’t because they’re so far away. We rely on Kitchener for a lot of their resources. Does it make sense that we pack our kids up in a car and drive to a splash pad in Kitchener? Perhaps. It would be a lot nicer if we could be entertained here in Breslau,” he said.

Timeline for completion is dependent on the township and the fundraising group’s ability to raise the money needed to build it. However the goal is to have the funding in place to send the job out to tender by spring of next year, Giacomazzi said.

With the Conestoga Meats donation, the group has raised about 30 per cent of its goal. The group also recently received an anonymous donation of $5,000.

“That’s the kind of support that we’re really looking to drum up. We’re on a good trajectory to hit our goal, so it’s very positive,” Giacomazzi added.

“We’re obviously part of the Breslau area, part of the community and we believe in supporting the community where we work and where quite a few of our employees live as well,” said Drung of the company’s impetus to get involved in the project.

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