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On the homeward stretch . . . Galloping towards the fundraising finish line are CPlay committee mem bers (from left) Lynette Wilson, Chris Fauth, Roselyn Fauth, Owen Jackson, Brent Birchfield and Leanne Prendeville. PHOTO: CLAIRE ALLISON

by Claire Allison

Fundraising for Caroline Bay’s new playground has tipped $2million.

CPlay committee members were celebrating over the weekend when the accounts showed donations had reached the $2million mark, leaving just $200,000 of the target to go.

Chairman Owen Jackson said there had been some inspiring support from the community recently, as the committee continued to work towards the $2.2million goal.

“It’s a little surreal to think that after nearly five years of working on this project we have broken through the $2million mark.”

The team of 11 volunteers has been growing the project over the past two years, with the Government’s stimulus fund the first major milestone, giving the committee the green light to get moving.

“And thanks to the Timaru District Council’s $1million contribution, the team could back themselves and drum up the community engagement and support.

“On behalf of the CPlay committee I’d like to thank all those financial supporters and well wishers who have joined us on this journey so far, but remember the job is not done yet!

“There is a real buzz happening in our community over the health, wellbeing and economic benefits this playground will offer the Timaru district so .. let’s go play!”

Getting closer . . . Concept plans for the new $2.2million playground on Caroline Bay. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

CPlay secretary Lynette Wilson said the excitement was intense as each donation was entered on the spreadsheet as it came in and tension built.

“It was awesome to see the total roll over, I don’t think I will ever get that much enjoyment from checking a spreadsheet again.

“We still have some way to go, but we are now so close to making our dream come true of playing together on our epic new playground.”

Donations secretary Leanne Prendeville said hitting the $2million mark showed the community pulled together when it was needed.

“I just can’t wait to watch the children laughing and having so much fun on this amazing new playground, what a great asset for South Canterbury,” Ms Prendeville said.

Project implementation and consultation lead Chris Fauth said it was fantastic to make it to $2million fundraised.

“It gives us confidence we can deliver the destination and uniquely Timaru playground that we all want to see.

“I was one of our group who spent a lot of time talking to the community about the playground design and vision.

“For me this milestone means we get to move on to the final stage of the project bringing all those ideas you shared with us through to final construction.

“Together we have come up with a space that will be fun and interactive for everyone, regardless of age or ability, and it’s great to be in a strong position to start the final stage of bringing that all to life.”