The Red Deer Royals are now happily marching in their new home — although the campaign to pay for the new Kinsmen Fieldhouse is far from over.
The 100 members of the community’s concert and marching band have been practising their music and their marching formations in the fieldhouse at the new St. Joseph’s High School since April 8.
After 48 years of shuffling between different rehearsal venues, the young musicians “are absolutely thrilled” to be in the new building, said Glen Pangle, president of the Red Deer Royals Alumni Association, who described the structure in Timberlands as “beautiful.”
While the Royals organization has so far raised nearly $2-million towards construction expenses, about $750,000 more is needed to cover the Royals’ portion of costs for the fieldhouse, which will also be used as a gymnasium during weekdays by Catholic School students and other community members.
In this tight economy, fundraising has been a tough slog, admitted Ray McBeth, fundraising chair of the Red Deer Royals Alumni Association.
But the project has so far received support from the City of Red Deer, provincial government, local Kinsmen, Alberta Treasury Branch and some local corporations. The alumni association will be approaching more businesses and organizations and looking into the availability of more grants.
In the meantime, a fundraising “brick” campaign has been started to encourage community donations. Instead of having donor names emblazoned on actual bricks, which organizers say are expensive, prone to damage and kind of passé, the names will be projected onto a “virtual brick” at a minimum cost of $300. The ATB Cares program will then top up this donation by 15 per cent.
Three large-screen monitors will be showing donor names inside the fieldhouse all public functions in the facility.
For more information, or to make a donation, please call 403-350-9494 or visit atbcares.com, hit ‘donate’ and enter Red Deer Royals in the search field.