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HomeCampaign NewsMeridian lands Pelham community centre naming rights

Meridian lands Pelham community centre naming rights

PELHAM – March 8, 2018 – A sizeable donation from the province’s largest credit union means the ongoing capital fundraising campaign for the new Pelham community centre won’t come down to the wire.

On Thursday, March 8, representatives from the town, community and province gathered at the currently under construction facility in east Fonthill to celebrate the announcement that with a $1 million donation Meridian Credit Union has secured naming rights for the facility — henceforth known as the Meridian Community Centre — pushing the capital campaign to 90 per cent of its $3 million goal nine months ahead of the targeted wrap up date.

“Part of it is our deep roots with the community,” said Fonthill branch manager John Wink, who has been sitting on news of the $1 million investment in Pelham since it was finalized in December of last year. He explained Meridian, or its precursor credit unions, have been a presence in Pelham since 1970, with the Fonthill branch a fixture on Pelham Street since 1982.

“It (the donation) is our commitment to the community that we’re always going to be there,” said Wink.

Credit union senior vice-president Wade Stayzer said on a personal level the naming rights for the $36.2 million Fonthill facility is particularly special as the Fonthill branch was the first he managed. Supporting the centre, he explained, satisfied all three criteria Meridian uses in selecting recipients, specifically benefits to its members, its employees and its community.

“The answer was of course yes, yes and yes,” he said, adding, “the Meridian Community Centre will be a place filled with moments that matter.”

Mayor Dave Augustyn was quick to thank Meridian, as well as other recent donors including Lucchetta Homes, Erwin Taylor Charitable Foundation and Contour Foot Care. He said the naming announcement marks a significant milestone in the project that sits as Pelham’s largest capital expenditure of all time.

“Today’s announcement stands unparalleled in our town’s history,” said Augustyn, who announced as a show of gratitude the town will name the new street, directly to the north of the centre, as Meridian Way. He added the co-operation between donors and the town has made the centre possible.

“By working together, we can create amazing things,” said Augustyn.

Martin van Zon, president of Interkom, the company running the fundraising efforts for the centre, said the announcement bodes well for the campaign as a whole.

“We are very hopeful and confident we will surpass our goal,” said van Zon, noting as the capital portion of the campaign wraps up the agency will be moving to its community campaign providing a chance for small and individual donors to contribute, with recognition on the centre’s donor wall. That campaign will be followed by a seat campaign, allowing for individuals to leave their mark on one of the facility’s 1,000 arena seats for $250.

“They will be a part of this facility forever,” said van Zon, who said as the campaign continues its success special thanks should be paid to Gary and Mall Accursi as the largest individual donors to the campaign. With a contribution of $300,000 van Zon said the couple, specifically Gary, have been important advocates for the centre and the fundraising efforts.

“He’s our strongest advocate in the community,” said van Zon.

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Originally posted in Niagara This Week – Written by Steve Henschel on March 8, 2018