January 25, 2012                                                                                   

Lincoln Centennial Pounces on Aviva Grant  

The roar of the Lincoln Centennial Lions can be heard across Niagara.  

The reason?

On Wednesday, January 25, the St. Catharines school learned that it had been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund. The money will be used to support the installation of a brand new state of the art playground structure at the school.

“The entire school is absolutely thrilled with this news,” says the school’s ecstatic principal, Brian Baranoski. “Having a safe and fun place for our students to play and grow will mean so much to our entire school community. Everyone worked so hard to make this moment a reality, but I have to give special credit to our students and teachers Jane McLaughlin and Sue Wilson for being the driving forces behind this initiative.”

Lincoln Centennial has been without a playground for the past five years. The old structure had served the community well, however, safety concerns led to the decision to remove the old equipment. The school had initiated some fundraising to purchase new equipment, but having the support from the Aviva fund means the school will be able to purchase and install the equipment sooner than anyone thought possible. The goal now is to have the new equipment installed by September, 2012, at the latest.

“Building this playground will help our school become a true community hub,” says McLaughlin. “It will give children and the community a place to build strong friendships, foster a love of play and develop healthy attitudes towards physical activity.”

“We can’t thank the community enough for all their support. Their dedication to our students was clearly evident in all the votes Lincoln Centennial received during the Aviva competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for our school and community,” says Wilson.

In September, 2011, the school submitted its proposal to the Aviva Community Fund. In order for the project to be considered for funding, the proposal had to receive popular support from the community and visitors to the Aviva Community Fund website. People could show their support by voting for their favourite proposals. After several rounds of voting, the projects garnering the most votes in their category were invited to make a presentation to Aviva indicating why their proposals deserved funding.