Blue Line

Lacing up for a playground

March 4, 2014  By Dannette Dooley

by Danette Dooley

Bloomfield Elementary School in Prince Edward Island recently challenged members of the West Prince RCMP to lace up their skates and take to the ice for a hockey game.

The challenge was about much more than shooting pucks; it was a way to raise money for much needed new playground equipment for the school.

The game took place on Jan. 31. The school’s team was made up of parents, alumni and a teacher.

Cst. Renee Michiels said the detachment was made up of members from all over the island. The game is a yearly event, she said, and always in support of a worthy cause.

“I’m part of the Bloomfield Home and School group and I suggested we have a hockey game to help them raise the money they need for the playground.”

In addition to the game (which the police won 7-6) the evening included a bake sale, toonie toss, 50/50 draw and gift basket draw.

“We did a lot of advertising and the kids were so excited. We had the local figure skating team perform in between periods and our officers gave out water bottles and stickers and hats. There was lots of picture taking. The kids had a ball.”

The school has already raised almost half of the $90,000 it needs for the new equipment.

Several fundraisers have already taken place, Michiels said. The game, which took place at the O’Leary Community Sports Centre, netted $2,400. Scotiabank in O’Leary matched that amount.

“Bloomfield is a K-6 country school with a wonderful staff and amazing principal. Andrew (Stewart) meets the kids in the mornings and waves to them in the afternoon as they are getting on the bus. It’s a very healthy environment for staff and the kids,” Michiels says.

Stewart said his school values the partnership it has made with the community and with the RCMP.

“We very much are advocates of teachers, parents and students working together and it has been very much the case with the playground equipment drive. Having an opportunity to work with the RCMP in this case is just another example of that,” Stewart said.

Michiels, who is originally from Ontario, said while it’s taken several years to raise half of the money, the volunteers will continue with their fundraising efforts.

“We had so much support from the RCMP here in PEI, right up to our commanding officer Craig Gibson, and when you add that support to the support you get from the school and the community, it makes raising the money that much easier,” Michiels said.

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