Dragons dash in aid of playground this summer

by Stephen Dafoe

The Morinville Public School Parent Fundraising Association are hoping people will walk or run to their next fundraiser, a 5 kilometre run/walk in aid of their efforts to build a school and community playground.

The Dragon Dash, set to take place Apr. 26 at 10 a.m. Apr. 26 will start and finish at Morinville Public School, winding its way 5 km through the community.

The idea to do the fun run/walk was out of a desire to add a physical activity aspect to the
group’s fundraising initiatives. “We try to encourage things that the kids that attend our school could eventually participate in,” said Leah Elzinga, one of the organizers of the event. “That’s sort of where it began.”

Elzinga said the event is a run for bling. Participants will get specialized medals. “We have Dragon medals that we’ll be giving out,” she said. “They’re quite nice. It’s not like you have to win. You pay your registration; you get your medal.”

Organizers are hoping to draw 150 registrants in the inaugural year, and although a fundraiser, the group is looking to add something for residents to do this spring. “A lot of the time our goal is first and foremost to put on a community event and fundraising is secondary,” Elzinga said. “We would like to make between $1000 and $1500.”

In it’s early stages, Elzinga said they already have registrants from as far away as Leduc.

Long-term project

Although 5km is not a long way for runners and walkers to go on a spring morning, the MPSPFA still has a ways to go in their playground project.

Elzinga said the first phase of the proposed playground project will cost $150,000. They have raised roughly $100,000 thus far, and they are hoping for good news on grant funding for an additional $50,000. “It that grant goes through, then it would be construction in August of 2015,” Elzinga said.

Phase one will address what the group sees as a dire lack of equipment in the existing playground. The initial structure will contain three levels with four slides, a rock climbing wall, and a drawbridge. Phase 2 would see the replacement of two existing structures on the north side of the existing playground with new equipment. Phase Three will include cosmetic items to beautify the playground and surrounding grounds.

Registration for the Dragon Dash is $25 until Mar. 11, $30 after that date. Youth can register for free.

For more information on the upcoming Dragon Dash or to register for the event, visit https://www.events.runningroom.com/site/?raceId=11542.

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