Fundraising has been successful so far for the new Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground, which will have its grand opening on Aug. 24, but more donations are needed.
The playground is opening in honour of the late Const. Sarah Beckett, a Westshore RCMP officer who was killed in the line of duty in April 2016. Beckett had two young sons, which prompted the City of Langford’s idea of a playground.
Since early 2019 the Westshore Rotary Club has been working on collecting $250,000 to cover the costs of the playground, which will have one portion for two-to-five-year-old children, and another portion for five-to-12-year-old children. So far, approximately $150,000 has been raised.
One of the rotary club’s largest contributing fundraisers has been its BUY A BRICK program, where people can purchase a brick for $200. The bricks will be inscribed at the donor’s request and be part of the park’s memorial wall.
Also on the wall are donor plaques for larger contributors, which so far includes six platinum contributors (who donated $10,000 or more), several gold members ($5,000 or more), three silver members ($2,000 or more) and nine bronze ($1,000 or more).
“It’s great, but that’s the community out in the Westshore, people jump to it,” said Jim Tenhove, fundraising member with the Rotary Club of the Westshore. “It’s a tragic thing, and now the memory is going to be there for her two boys. They can play at a park with her name.”
So far, 260 bricks have sold but another 150 are still available.
Additionally, ongoing fundraisers will continue to chip away at the remaining costs. On Aug. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. there will be the Cherish Summer Splash fundraiser, which will include a pancake breakfast, a barbecue and dunk tank at Cherish Living at 917 Avrill Rd.
Revenue from hot dog and hamburger sales at the upcoming Show and Shine will go towards the cause; it’s happening on Sunday Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park.
The playground will officially open on Aug. 24, where Langford Mayor Stew Young and Premier John Horgan are expected to be in attendance.
Anyone interested in making a donation can visit westshorerotary.org