An artist’s conception of the Rotary Club of Invermere’s proposed splash and spray park for Kinsmen Beach.

An artist’s conception of the Rotary Club of Invermere’s proposed splash and spray park for Kinsmen Beach.

Rotary raising money through laughter

'Seafood Splash and Laughs' fundraiser set for Saturday at curling rink

Between the west end of the Kinsmen Beach parking lot and Lake Windermere, lies an under-utilized patch of land. It’s one that the Rotary Club of Invermere is planning to develop into a splash-and-spray park as part of its ongoing mission to improve the quality of community recreation.

“The project we’re fundraising for this year is going to get in the ground next year,” said Invermere Rotarian Bruce McLaughlin.

The Rotary Club will begin their fundraising efforts for the spray park with Seafood Splash and Laughs at the Invermere Curling Rink on Saturday, June 8th.

The playful, locally-catered event will feature non-offensive comics from Yuk Yuk’s and “nearly famous” models in masks will be greeting guests at the door, dressing them in a bib.

A limited number of attendees will be entered into a raffle for the door prize — a two-day vacation for four to the Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho. Live and silent auctions will also be taking place, and the club will be accepting donations from local businesses that are able to contribute. If the club is successful in raising the money needed — roughly $350,000 — after a series of fundraisers, the new structure will be built in the spring of 2014.

“When the final design has been presented to us, we’re going to consult kids. We’ll have a kids’ advisory council give us feedback through the schools,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “There’s no sense having an adult-only design for a structure that’s for kids. Except for safety.”

The proposed splash-and-spray park will span a peanut-shaped 285 square metres and offer 10 water blasting nozzles for kids to play.

“The land is long and narrow, so the design suits the land available,” he said.

The new park will also include a toddler and youth section, and will be wheelchair accessible.

“A couple of years ago we responded to people wanting more facilities on the beach. The District of Invermere had input that they wanted more facilities, so we initiated a committee to investigate a splash-and -spray park,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “We realized there’s one in Sparwood, Fernie,Cranbrook and Golden, but Invermere didn’t have one.” Visitors and locals will both appreciate it, he said.

“It’s a safe way for those little kids to get experience without going in the lake.”

The Rotary Club will also be seeking grants for which they qualify, as well as donations from the community. All donations for the splash and spray park are tax deductible.

To follow Seafood Splash and Laughs will be the Kids’ Splash-and-Spray Festival set for Saturday, August 24th, a family-friendly water festival happening at Pothole Park. Finishing the season for the Rotary Club’s fundraising efforts will be the grand prize raffle draw on Monday, September 30th. One lucky winner will be taking three others to Atlantis Paradise in the Bahamas. The second prize is $1,000, followed by $500 for third.