The Eirin Amundsen Memorial Pavilion. Submitted photo

Eirin Amundsen Memorial Pavilion Committee seeks fundraising ideas

Over two years, the Eirin Amundsen Memorial Pavilion Committee has collected over $100,000 to build a multi-use field house at Max Turyk Community Centre but project manager Andre Bloemink says fundraising is far from over.

“We’re about a third of the way through,” he said. “We’re still here, we’re still moving forward. The main thing is dollars right now.”

The project is anticipated to cost over $300,000 minus in-kind donations from different suppliers and contractors.

The committee had originally planned to break ground this summer to complete the project in time for the 2017 soccer season but Bloemink said construction might be delayed until spring 2018 because of fundraising issues.

The committee is searching for volunteers who have experience in managing non-profits to help raise funds.

“We as a committee could use assistance with grant sourcing and applying for those grants,” said Bloemink.

Last year, the committee organized two fundraising campaigns in conjunction with the Fernie Brewing Company. The local brewery held an initiative called Cheers to Charity and hosted a travel lottery in conjunction with the Fernie Rotary Club.

It also held a charity golf tournament which raised over $15,000. Bloemink is hopeful another one will be organized this year.

He also hopes to see donations from Resort Municipality Funding (RMI) or similar programs to help promote the project.

“It has been hard work by our committee with some victories and setbacks for two years. I’m always proud of what our small crew has accomplished so far,” he said. “Lots of work to go.”

Originally, the committee wanted to put up a simple picnic shelter with a timber-frame roof and tables underneath.

But thanks to the Fernie Youth Soccer Association (FYSA), the goal became to build a centralized field house. The design of the building evolved to include washrooms, equipment storage and a concession space.

Students from the College of the Rockies’ Timber Framing Program have volunteered to construct the roof of the pavilion. Local contractors will do the rest and Bloemink is hopeful a few will jump on board and donate their time.

The pavilion will be located in the northeast corner of the Max Turyk Community Centre’s field. The building will be facing the neighbourhood where Eirin Amundsen grew up.

Once the project is complete, the committee has an agreement with the city that the structure will be deeded into their inventory of public buildings. The city will then become responsible for its ongoing maintenance.

The pavilion will honour Amundsen, a valued member of the community who was killed in a tragic motor vehicle accident on January 7, 2015.

Amundsen was an accomplished soccer player who earned a scholarship to the University of Victoria where she graduated from nursing school. Post graduation, she returned to Fernie to work as a registered nurse at the Elk Valley Hospital.

She was involved in the FYSA as a coach.

Bloemink said he knew Amundsen and her family since arriving in Fernie in the 1990s.

“I look forward to creating a lasting legacy to (her) memory which will benefit the whole community,” said Bloemink.

“We will see this building stand and look forward to the day it does.”