$1 million donation for Saugeen Shores Aquatic Centre
The fundraising for the Town's new Aquatic & Wellness Centre (AWC) has kicked off with an incredibly generous donation.
Long-time community partners Brad and Kathy Pryde have agreed to give $1,000,000 dollars to the Centre's "Just Add Water" campaign.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to help promote recreation, health and wellness in our community," said the couple. "Active lifestyles are a strong part of our community's fabric, and the Aquatic and Wellness Centre will be a positive project for the people of Saugeen Shores that will add to everyone's quality of life."
The Prydes are no strangers to health and wellness in Saugeen Shores.
Since moving here in 1980, they have started the PRANCE (Pegasus Riding Association Nurturing Challenged Equestrians) therapeutic equestrian program at their farm north of Port Elgin.
It is dedicated to the growth and development of individuals with intellectual, physical, and emotional challenges through experiences with horses.
The Prydes have also been instrumental in building several woodland trails between Port Elgin and Southampton that are enjoyed by residents and tourists alike.
Developing a portion of those lands required keeping significant areas of woodland in their natural state.
Now the Prydes are cementing their recreational legacy even further by bequeathing three blocks of land to the Town within those woodlands (approximately 37 hectares or 91 acres) north of the 10th Concession.
These blocks all have conservation easements to ensure their preservation as natural wooded areas to enjoy in perpetuity.
The Prydes had previously provided 80 hectares (200 acres) of woodlands to the Town in the Summerside subdivision.
"We recognize the relationship between nature and well-being," added the Prydes. "We love nature walks, riding our bikes and horseback riding. Travelling those trails have become our own form of therapy."
"Council is both humbled and elated with these generous contributions and we thank them," said Mayor Luke Charbonneau. "The Prydes have been active participants in our town for over 40 years; their donations will secure their legacy as community builders for generations."
The donation is the first in the Just Add Water campaign's Quiet Ask phase, where community partners are solicited for significant donations. In the coming months, the campaign will widen its reach, soliciting smaller donations from individual community members.
The Aquatic & Wellness Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility that will house an eight-lane pool, as well as a fitness and wellness centre.
It is one of the Town's biggest capital projects to date and will serve as a regional recreational hub for decades to come.
The Town is also using this opportunity to reimagine the space for its office staff using the Workplace 2.0 concept.
You can find out more about the campaign by going to Just Add Water.
For more information about the facility, please visit the Town of Saugeen Shores website.
The construction of the AWC is a Major Initiative for the Town's Community Services department, as outlined in the 2023 Business Plan approved by Council (p. 23).