The Smithton Rotary Club has kindly donated $2500 to fund upgrades to the play equipment at the Blackberry Inn.
The equipment is being relocated to a more convenient and easier supervised location on the oval out the front of the facility, with the old spaced to be used for overflow parking.
“They approached us, they saw that we had had the band and everything and that we had been advertising it and Jeff Burgess gave me a ring and we teed it up and he came to the party with $2500,” Inn volunteer Donovan Lockett said.
“It was very much appreciated, it would have been a lot more difficult if they didn’t come on board.”
Inn volunteer Donovan Lockett says that the Committee will need to spend between 12 and $15,000 to upgrade the equipment during the move, with some of the equipment still in serviceable condition.
“We’ve had the consultant come down from Hobart to have a look at it and they said we have a couple of things that are still good so we will move them,” he said.
A new swing set has been purchased as well as some second hand items from a school in Launceston that has been well looked after.
“We’ve been very fortunate and have been able to make some good savings on some secondhand stuff that has only been installed for 15 months and has spent it’s life undercover,” he said.
“That equipment cost us $2000 but brand new it would have been closer to $20,000 so we were very lucky in that regard.”
Work will now commence to move the playground, with the Committee to continue with the project as the funds become available.
“We’re going to put that in for now to get it started and then we will slowly add things to finish it off,” he said.
“The donation will come in very handy, it’s really helping us out.”
Donovan says that without the help of Rotary the upgrades would have been severely delayed, hampered by difficulties with fundraising with many volunteers having commitments to sporting clubs at this time of the year.
“We’d have to look at doing more fundraising which can become difficult as we are volunteer run and a lot of our volunteers have other commitments,” he said.
“They’ve probably bought the development forward one or to months.”
The Blackberry will be hosting a band on July 24 to help cover the rest of the funds, with tickets costing $25 a head.
Halfway to Forth will be playing, as well as Dudley Billing and the bar will be open. All profits will go towards the development of the playground.