INNISFAIL – It was a bountiful day for the Innisfail Ski Hill last week.
First, the non-profit board that operates the facility received a $35,000 cheque from the Town of Innisfail, funds that were approved last month by town council to help the ski hill with the $385,000 cost for its nearly completed new chalet.
That same day on May 4, Kennedy Jackson, the 22-year-old daughter of ski hill president Brent Jackson, was wrapping up a five-month bottle drive with young volunteers who raised $3,382.10 for the winter facility.
“I believe the ski hill is an extremely important part of Innisfail where many generations have made memories and people have been given the opportunity to try skiing or snowboarding whom otherwise may not have been introduced to these sports,” she said, while thanking the Innisfail Bottle Depot for their support.
“Lastly, I would like to thank all of the people who helped load, unload, sort, and count. Our community is built on the hard work of all kinds of volunteers and these individuals are no exception.”
Earlier in the day, her dad Brent was at Town Hall on behalf of the board of directors to accept the cheque of $35,000.
The elder Jackson said he was proud of what his daughter, as well as the other young volunteers and adults, did with the Innisfail Ski Hill Bottle Drive.
“Having the support of the volunteers who continue to support the ski hill through the bottle drive was awesome, mostly there was the youth and younger kids that use the ski hill and a couple of adults,” said Brent. “It was awesome to see them step up to the plate and make their own decisions to do that.”
He acknowledged the bottle drive is completed for now but will likely be resumed later in the fall.
As for the Town of Innisfail contribution of $35,000, the ski hill president said it will be a “big boost” in paying for the overall cost of the new chalet, which will be a facility the community can use at any time of the year, including use for public meetings.
“It is gracious of the town to kick in money like that. It is awesome. The whole project is almost 90 per cent complete, just a few touch ups to do and landscaping outside. Otherwise, it is looking good and hopefully we can open it soon,” he said, adding the town is also contributing with in-kind support such as landscaping.
The ski hill president said a member of the club’s grant committee is also reapplying for a $125,000 grant from the province’s Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP), monies that will help offset the overall cost. Last year the club was unsuccessful with its first application.
As for the town’s contribution, Mayor Jim Romane said everyone with the Town of Innisfail was “excited” about contributing support to the ski hill because the community is “behind them 100 per cent."
“This is a true community project that Brent and his crew got together and put up,” said Romane. “I’m sure the community of Innisfail appreciate the investment they made in the project.”