Martensville High School (MHS) students are building a brighter future for youngsters in their community, one nail at a time. Continue reading “KidSport Playhouse project taking shape in Martensville”
It’s all about the kids.
A two-storey, custom-built playhouse, the grand prize in a KidSport fundraising raffle that kicks off this week, was unveiled in Warman on Monday, April 24.
This is the second year for the project, which raises much-needed funds for the Martensville and Warman KidSport committees. KidSport provides funding for less-fortunate families to enable children to participate in organized sports like hockey, figure skating, softball, baseball and soccer.
The month of May has been designated KidSport Month. All funds raised locally through this raffle are distributed to families within the two communities.
The playhouse was built over the fall and winter months by Warman High School shop teacher Terry Martin with help from students at the school. Last year, a similar playhouse was built by students at Martensville High School. Building materials, moving expenses and publicity donations were made by several local businesses, while Martensville and District Lions Club members are selling raffle tickets.
At the unveiling of the KidSport playhouse on Monday, April 24, Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence said KidSport funding is helping many families that otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in organized sports.
“Last year, we had 48 families that applied to the local KidSport Committee here in Warman and received funding,” said Spence. “A total of $21,000 was distributed.
“But the need is far more than that,” she added. “And it’s likely to keep increasing, so this fundraising project is very important. This is a valued program in our community, and we’re thankful to all those who contributed.”
Martensville Deputy Mayor Tyson Chillog said last year the Martensville KidSport Committee assisted 36 kids with financial support to the tune of over $10,000.
“This year’s goal is $15,000,” said Chillog. “We encourage businesses to get involved with KidSport Month by hosting fundraisers like barbecues, ‘dress-down’ days, sales of KidSport cutouts, and donating a portion of sales to KidSport.”
Angela Reddekopp, Martensville KidSport Coordinator, said it takes the support of many businesses and individuals to make the project a success.
“This event doesn’t just happen by itself,” said Reddekopp. “A lot of local, community-minded partners are involved.”
KidSport Saskatchewan Coordinator Carolyn Ganes said this playhouse raffle project is a model for the rest of the province and the country.
“We have over 40 KidSport committees across the province,” said Ganes. “The need is rising, so it’s important that communities come together and take ownership of local fundraisers.
“Martensville and Warman are clearly the leaders in the province,” she added. “This is a unique project and we would love to see this type of thing happening in more communities.
“I’ve been showing other committees the newspaper articles on this project and encouraging them to do something similar.
“Even from a national perspective, KidSport Canada has never seen anything as big as this anywhere else in the country. It brings everyone together for such a great cause. It’s really inspiring to see.”
Raffle tickets are available from Martensville and District Lions Club members, as well as the Warman Super Valu and Martensville A&W. The draw for the playhouse will be made in late June.
A custom-built two-storey playhouse is in the final stages of construction at Warman High School’s industrial arts shop, and is slated to be moved and put on public display early next week.
The playhouse will be raffled off to raise funds for the Martensville and Warman KidSport charities. KidSport provides financial assistance to low-income families to help youngsters participate in organized sports in the community.
This is the second year for the KidSport playhouse fundraising project, a joint effort involving the Martensville A&W, the Martensville and District Lions Cub, Martensville and Warman KidSport, Clark’s Crossing Gazette and Warman High School. The first playhouse was built during the 2015-2016 academic year by students at Martensville High School.
Last fall, Warman High School Industrial Arts teacher Terry Martin committed to having the playhouse completed by early April. While the original plan intended it to be a project for a select group of students, that didn’t work out due to unforeseen factors.
Which meant Martin did almost all the work on his own, with occasional assistance from students during class time for larger jobs like installing the roof rafters. He estimates that over 300 hours of labour went into the project.
“It was a lot of work, but it really was worth it,” said Martin in an interview on Wednesday, March 29 as he was busy putting the finishing touches on the building. “I gave my word it was going to get done, so it had to get done.
“It feels great that it’s almost finished, but what I’m really happy about is all the kids that are going to benefit from this project because of the money that it will raise for KidSport.”
Martensville KidSport Coordinator Angie Reddekopp said the project raised about $10,000 for the charity last year, and she’s hoping this year’s raffle is just as successful.
“The community responded really well,” said Reddekopp. “I think part of the appeal is that all the funds raised locally stay right here in our communities, and go to help kids right here at home. We really didn’t know what to expect last year, since it was the first time we tried something like this, but we were really happy with the result.”
Reddekopp said the project has also increased awareness of KidSport and its mandate. As a result, there are more applications for financial assistance coming in every day.
“There’s a big need in the communities,” said Reddekopp. “Demand is increasing, so we need to raise more money every year.”
The playhouse is wired for electrical lighting and the interior is finished with drywall, flooring and baseboards. The building has 64 square feet of space on the main floor and 98 square feet on the second floor. It also has a four foot by eight foot covered veranda porch at the front.
But the most eye-catching feature is the custom-designed, hand-made door built from scratch by Martin.
“The raised-panel door is my little personal touch,” said Martin. “I started with rough two-by-ten poplar wood, planed it down and cut it to size, and then used the right router bits for it. It’s a three-bit operation, and they all fit into each other and basically make a jigsaw puzzle.”
Donations from local suppliers helped keep the cost of building materials low.
The playhouse is built on skids to allow it to be moved. Early next week it will be taken on a flat deck tow truck to a highly-visible location in Warman. After about it a month on display in that community, it will then be moved again to the parking lot in front of the A&W on Centennial Drive, the city’s main business frontage road.
Tickets for the KidSport playhouse draw will be available for purchase soon.