United in the goal of building a second ice pad in their community, Leaside residents and business owners gathered to support the fundraising campaign with a chuckle. The Laugh out Loud in Leaside Comedy Night Fundraiser was conceived and organized by Leaside resident and realtor Charlene Kalia and a few very dedicated Leaside women. “It is amazing to watch the community rally around this initiative so enthusiastically,” said Charlene Kalia. “We’ve overcome several major hurdles during this rink expansion initiative, none more critical than raising capital. Residents and community stakeholders are passionate about making the second ice rink a reality,” she said.
The fundraiser featured local residents John Oakley (AM640 Talk Radio Host) conducting the live auction and Actor/Comedian David Sparrow as the MC for the evening. Comedians from Yuk Yuk’s played to a capacity crowd.
The event raised more than $40,000 which will be used to promote the building of the second ice pad. The arena expansion is a $9.5 million project of which $7 million is a recoverable loan undertaken by the city and $2.5 million is to be raised the user groups and the community. The project will come before council as part of the 2011 capital plan in February. Mayor Rob Ford expressed his support of community led initiatives such as the Laugh Out Loud in Leaside fundraiser in support of the arena expansion.
The current single pad is one of the busiest in the city of Toronto. A second rink in the Leaside community would be a major step towards addressing the serious ice shortage in the City of Toronto. The Leaside Board has been working to twin this facility for the past 13 years. All proceeds will be used to help the arena board promote the building of the 2nd pad. The sold-out event included political leaders: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Ward 26 City Councillor John Parker, Toronto Budget Chief and Ward 39 City Councillor Mike Del Grande, MPP and Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne, and MP Rob Oliphant.
For more information about other initiatives:
Chair, Leaside Memorial Community Gardens Expansion Committee