Amherstburg Foundation Sets First Wave of Community Projects

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The Amherstburg Community Foundation laid out its first wave of improvement projects at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg before a packed house Wednesday night.

Retired president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Richard Peddie is taking on another presidential role, this time at the head of a nine person board that has already kick-started the campaign with $150,000 of its own money over the next three years.

"The board agreed to put in money to show that they meant it," says Peddie, who added the foundation doesn't receive any funding from the municipality. "You have more credibility when you go to ask a company or a person for money if you're also donating."

Now they're looking for $211,000 in additional support to bring four initiatives to fruition.

The projects announced include: $39,000 to establish a youth mentorship program and a speaker series at Amherstburg Freedom Museum, $40,000 for an Amherstburg Carnegie Library upgrade that would include murals, comfortable seating, new books and an expanded computer area, $75,000 to help the Essex Region Conservation Authority build a four-kilometre walking trail at Holiday Beach and $55,000 for amenities at Beaudoin Park.

He tells AM800 News the board had to do their homework for the first wave — but hopes the community will come to them with ideas as the foundation becomes more known throughout town.

"We did our own research and came up with about seven or eight ideas and then whittled them down and asked for five of them to submit applications," he says. "In the end we unanimously approved the four that are being presented this evening."

He says the focus is on getting the job done on the first wave, but the board still has an eye on the future.

"We've got $211,000 of ask out there and some will get funded sooner than others as one or two get funded we'll put out the word looking for applications," he says. "At the same time, we will have our eye out for things that we think can work."

Peddie says ground breaking on the first project will depend on how quickly the money is raised, but the board is hoping to have things rolling on a few projects this summer.

Donations can be made on specific projects through the foundation’s website, according to Peddie.

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