Community spirit builds Kinship Place
-by John Gillis
It’s a place where memories will be made.
Mary Jane MacDonell (mother of Tracey MacDonell-MacDougall) and Addison MacDougall (daughter of Tracey MacDonell-MacDougall) were on hand for the official opening of Kinship Place in Mabou on Saturday. The new playground is dedicated to the late Tracey M
That was the spirit behind the creation of a new community playground built over the course of two days last week in Mabou.
Over the past number of months a very active playground committee has being working hard in conjunction with the Mabou and District Community Development Association.
In early July, it was announced that the Mabou Community Playground Project had won a 2013 Let Them Be Kids Helping Hands Award. Unfortunately, about a month later, the committee decided to refuse the award and its benefits as it was becoming apparent that their project was not a good fit for the 2013 Let Them Be Kids mandate. The committee still felt the process had been a worthwhile one and that they had learned much from the experience.
The turnout of volunteers on Saturday, September 7th, was nothing short of amazing. Fishermen, farmers, carpenters, contractors, tradespeople, students, housewives, grandfathers, grandmothers and volunteers, young and old alike, worked side by side to make this playground a reality.
“It was a very emotional day,” said Mary Jane MacDonell, mother of the late Tracey MacDonell, to whom the new playground is dedicated.
“I thought it was such an honour. I could just feel Tracey’s spirit all around and to see her daughter Addison cut the ribbon and the smiles on so many of the children’s faces – it was so amazing,” she added.
“This has certainly met our main goals such as building a multi-generational gathering place and to value volunteerism in the community,” said Melanie Beaton of the playground committee. On behalf of the playground committee and Mabou Development Association, Beaton thanked everyone who volunteered during the effort. “Community spirit is alive and well here today,” Beaton added.
Municipality of Inverness County Warden Duart MacAulay was on hand Saturday morning and was deeply impressed by the community effort.
“This is certainly a great addition to the community of Mabou and the people of Mabou should be very proud. It’s a very impressive undertaking and it’s an ideal location,” said MacAulay.
The land the playground is on is adjacent to the Mabou Arena. The land is owned by the municipality and it is being leased on a long-term basis to the playground committee.
“They will have use of it for the playground for as long as they want it. We as a municipality are also going to do some water testing in the area after hearing that there are some wet spots near the arena, and we will see if there is anything we can do to dry up that area,” MacAulay added.
The family of Tracey MacDonell-MacDougall were on hand for the opening ceremonies on Saturday. A favourite saying of Tracey’s: “Live every moment, Laugh every day, And
Love beyond words” is marked on the entrance signage to the playground .
The playground committee is certainly still accepting donations. They can be made at the East Coast Credit Union Mabou Branch “Playground Account” or you can mail cheques payable to the Mabou and District Community Development Association, P.O. Box 232, Mabou, NS, B0E 1X0.
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