Yuk Yuks Event raises $40,000 to promote Arena Expansion Project

Toronto, ON.  February 4, 2011 – Laughter resonated through the Leaside Community at the second “Laugh out Loud in Leaside” comedy evening at the On the Park Events and Conference Centre on Friday January 28, 2011.

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 the fundraiser:
Charlene Kalia

For more information about other initiatives:
Paul Mercer
Chair, Leaside Memorial Community Gardens Expansion Committee

Leaside rink users committed to expansion plan

Community fundraisinig takes place for second ice pad

If all goes as planned, children in Leaside won’t have to be turned away from ice sports after September 2012. Representatives from Leaside Memorial Gardens, the Leaside Hockey Association, the Leaside Skating Club, and the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association gathered at the arena Friday morning to officially launch the fundraising campaign for the expansion project.

City council had approved a $7 million loan to cover the majority of the $9.5 price tag with the community expected to raise the rest. Of the $2.5 million community portion, $1.4 million has already been raised.

“This project will mean more ice time for more kids closer to home,” said Paul Mercer, chairperson of the Arena Expansion Committee.

“That’s the vision. Now we need the community to rally behind that vision and come up with the remaining funds needed to make this project a reality.”

The plan to twin the 60-year-old arena on Millwood Road began in 1998 and with the project being added to the city’s capital budget it is finally coming to fruition.

“We come here now 12 years later and we can see the goal line,” Mercer said. “We’re getting really, really close to where we need to be.”

The project got a kick start in 2010 when a local family stepped forward with an anonymous donation that enabled the hiring of an architect and planning work with city officials to begin.

The city contribution will come from a city-guaranteed loan to be repaid through future operating revenues.

“This is an opportunity for the city to play a role without dipping into the taxpayers’ pockets,” said Don Valley West Councillor John Parker. “I do see this as a model of how other facilities can be built in the future.”

This is the first municipal arena to be built in the city in 30 years.

The expansion committee is on track to have a shovel in the ground in August and the second pad finished in September of next year – just in time for the 2012 ice season to begin.

The user groups are ecstatic at the thought.

“I am delighted. I’ve got hundreds of players who’ve never played a game here,” said Ron Baker, president of the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association.

With about 1,000 players the association is large, but it’s grown all that it can for now.

“I do know that every year if we get a couple more hours of ice here and there we fill it instantly…We always have a waiting list,” Baker said.

This past weekend the association hosted a hockey tournament where 100 teams from around the province came to town; the tournament had to take place at 17 different rinks across the city. All proceeds from the tournament’s silent auction were pledged to the arena expansion.

Baker said the association has also agreed to the capital surcharge to pay back the city loan.

“We’re completely committed to this,” he said.

That’s the sentiment of all the user groups.

“We think we can raise a significant amount of money from our membership,” said Derek Woods, the president of the Leaside Hockey Association.

The association has installed a fundraising chairperson and the campaign launched in January.

Currently the club has just 20 per cent of its annual ice requirements met at the local rink.

“The hope is with twin pads we can improve the quality and quantity of these programs,” Woods said.

Parents have to drive their children to practice and games at rinks in Markham, Vaughan and Etobicoke where ice is available. Because of this and the desire to have their children play close to home, Woods believes his members will step up to assist with the fundraising.

One way community members can support the arena is through the GiveGet program where four per cent of the sale of gift cards will be contributed to the expansion project. So far Esso is on board and more businesses are expected to sign up.

Visit www.giveget.com/leasidearena for more information.

Source: InsideToronto.com

Leaside Arena Launches Fundraising Campaign for Second Rink

<em “mso-bidi-font-style:=””>Organisers are already more than halfway towards the $2.5 million community portion of the project costs

11 March 2011

Today the Leaside Gardens Arena Board officially launched its campaign to raise the community portion of the cost of building the second rink at Leaside Gardens.

“This project will mean more ice time for more kids closer to home,” said Paul Mercer, Chair of the Arena Expansion Committee.  “That’s the vision.  Now we need the community to rally behind that vision and come up with the remaining funds needed to make this project a reality.”

City Council recently approved the arena expansion project at an estimated cost of $9.5 million, of which $7 million will come from a city-guaranteed loan to be repaid through future operating revenues, and $2.5 million must be raised by the primary partner groups and the local community.

Efforts to raise the $2.5 million have been underway for several months already Mercer said.  And through a combination of one large anonymous donation, the commitments of the three partner groups, and appeals by the fundraising team to business and community leaders, $1.4 million has already been raised.

Ward 26 Councillor John Parker said the shared funding model was an innovative solution in a time of budget restraint.  “It’s only fair that those who will use this new rink the most bear some portion of the cost of building it,” he said.  “That means not just families from Leaside but also from Riverdale, other parts of old East York, and neighbourhoods west of Bayview Avenue for whom Leaside Gardens is their closest local community rink.”

Parker urged local families to make a financial contribution and to do so quickly.  “We need to raise a million dollars by August 1st to keep the project on track for a fall 2012 opening” Parker said.

The arena’s three primary partner associations (the Leaside Hockey Association, the Leaside Skating Club, and the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association) are fully engaged in the expansion project and representatives from each group were on hand to share their vision for what the second rink will mean for the 2,500 kids currently participating in their programs.  “We will be able to offer practices for our house league teams and the potential of home games at Leaside Gardens for our select and GTHL teams,” said Derek Woods, President of the LHA, “and better programming in our hockey school.”

Bridget Child, President of the Leaside Skating Club, said “For us, the second rink means we’ll be able to expand our CanSkate programs offering more opportunities to kids from Leaside and Riverdale and the other local neighbourhoods to learn to skate.  And it’s a chance to add summer programming as well.”

Ron Baker, President of the TLGHA said, “The second rink means that we’ll no longer have to turn away girls who want to play hockey, and they won’t have to travel so far to get on the ice.  That will make a real difference in the quality of the hockey experience for these girls and their families.”

Expansion Committee Chair Paul Mercer said they are using all available means to raise awareness about the project and to encourage local residents to contribute.  He pointed to the new billboard in the arena parking lot and said there will be other advertising in the weeks ahead.  There are plans to reach every door in the catchment area served by Leaside Gardens.  There is also a Facebook page and a Twitter feed which can be accessed through the website at www.LeasideArena.com.

Donors can make their tax-deductible donation through the East York Foundation, which is handling donations for the project – see the website for details.  In addition, people can participate in the “Give Get” program where a portion of every purchase of a tank of gas or at selected local merchants goes to the expansion project.  Some additional details on donor recognition and on “Give Get” are attached.

<em “mso-bidi-font-style:=””>Background

  • The expansion proposal approved by City Council calls for building the second rink at an estimated cost of $9.5 Million of which $7 Million will come from a city-guaranteed loan to be repaid through future operating revenues, and $2.5 Million must be raised by the primary partner groups and the local community.
  • The Leaside Arena Expansion Committee, chaired by Paul Mercer, includes a Revenue Generation Committee, chaired by arena board member Charlene Kalia, which has been working with our three primary partner groups – the Leaside Hockey Association, the Leaside Skating Club and the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association – and other local leaders to lay a solid foundation for the fundraising campaign being officially launched today.
  • A generous financial contribution made in the summer of 2010 by an anonymous local family eager to jump-start the arena expansion project was the start of the community fundraising campaign.  Between this donation, the commitments of our three partner groups, and appeals by the fundraising team to local business and community leaders, we have now raised $1.4 million.
  • The donor family did their part by expediting the process; City Council has now done its part by approving the project and providing the $7 Million loan; now it is up to the Leaside Arena community – including the primary partner groups and the wider community – to do its part.  It’s critical that commitments totalling $2.5 million be identified prior to August 1st, 2011 to ensure the project goes ahead and stays on schedule for completion in August 2012
  • Tax-deductible donations may be made through the East York Foundation, the charitable organisation that is facilitating the processing of contributions on behalf of the Leaside Arena Expansion Committee.
  • The expansion committee has developed a list of naming opportunities in the new facility to recognise largest financial contributions of between $10,000 and $250,000.  Details about naming opportunities may be found on the Arena Expansion Committee Website atwww.LeasideArena.com
  • All donations of $1,000 or more will be permanently recognised on a Donor Recognition Wall which will be prominently displayed in the new arena.

<em “mso-bidi-font-style:=””>The Give Get Program

  • GiveGet is a new type of social networking platform where individuals, businesses and charities collaborate with each other by exchanging items of value in ways that all parties win.  The way it works is simple yet innovative.  Businesses list items they would like to sell on GiveGet.com, such as empty seats, excess inventory, new products or items they would like consumers to buy directly. These businesses agree to sell their goods and services to GiveGet at a privately discounted price – often approaching 50% off the everyday retail price.  To protect the businesses’ brand and public pricing levels, GiveGet only offers these items for purchase on GiveGet.com at their everyday retail price. 
  • When consumers visit the GiveGet site and purchase an item at the everyday price, they also “Get” all or part of another item they want from the site for free in return.  The benefit achieved will go in the form of a donation to the Leaside Arena Expansion.  The partnership between GiveGet and the Leaside Arena Expansion works in three ways:
  1. With the Esso Card through regular purchasing of gas, a percentage of the sale is donated to the arena.  For example, if you spend $1,000 on gas, $40 will go to the arena expansion project.
  2. A network of Leaside businesses – a percentage of purchasing at regular price will go to the arena fund.  (The list of participating local businesses will be available shortly)
  3. Through online purchases of gift items as described on the GiveGet website.
  • More information is available at www.giveget.com/leasidegardens where you can sign up and also register your email address to receive further information, for example, as the list of participating Leaside merchants becomes available.

For more on the Leaside Arena Expansion Project please Contact Us:

Arena Expansion Committee Chair Paul Mercer, 416-464-2156 or paul.mercer@mclarens.ca

Or Ward 26 Councillor John Parker, 416-392-0215 or councillor_parker@toronto.ca

City approves $7 million towards Leaside Arena Expansion

The expansion of the Leaside Gardens Arena is one step closer to reality after city council approved the project as part of its capital budget.

“We’re quite delighted by it,” said Brooke Biscoe. “It gets us past one major hurdle in making this project happen.”

Biscoe is the chairperson of the Leaside Gardens Board of Management, which runs the city owned rink on Millwood Road. Plans to build the much-needed second ice pad at the Leaside Gardens have been in the works for more than a decade as user groups have struggled to find enough ice time to meet their needs.

All prime-time ice (between 5 and 11 p.m. weekdays and between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. weekends) at the 60-year-old arena is fully booked with 95 per cent of that time devoted to youth non-competitive use.

“We don’t have any ice left to rent,” Biscoe said.

The three main user groups at the rinks are the Leaside Skating Club, Leaside Hockey Association and Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association; Biscoe said the skating club had to turn down more than 60 children for its learn to skate program this year because they just didn’t have enough ice time.

The Leaside Arena Expansion Project will see the current rink twinned and cost an estimated $9.5 million, of which $7 million will come from a city-guaranteed loan to be repaid through future operating revenues, and $2.5 million must be raised by the primary partner groups and the local community.

Arena Expansion Committee chairperson Paul Mercer said the community has already raised $1.4 million and the fundraising sub-committee has been busy trying to secure the rest. One option is to allow one of the interested corporations to purchase the naming rights.

Mercer is thrilled the project was approved, but knows there is more work to be done.

“We still have a lot of work to do. The donor family did their part to get things moving. City council has done its part by approving the project. Now it’s up to the community to do our part and raise the $2.5 million.” Mercer said.

“We’re more than half way towards our goal but we have more to raise before August 1st in order to keep the project on schedule.”

In 2010, a local family stepped forward with an anonymous donation that enabled the hiring of an architect and planning work with city officials to begin.

“If they didn’t do what they did…We’re a year ahead of where we would have been otherwise,” Mercer said.

Before the donation and the approval, the plan first began to accelerate in 2009 when the city agreed to buy the adjacent property (formerly home to the Ontario Film Review Board) on which the second pad will be built.

If everything stays on track the goal is a August ground breaking and a completion date of the following September – just in time to kick off the 2012 skating and hockey season.

Source: InsideToronto.com