The Rotary Club of West Shore present a $263,493 cheque towards the Sarah Beckett Memorial Park at Langford’s city council meeting Monday. (Courtesy of Andy Pearson)

Rotary raises more than $260k for Sarah Beckett Memorial Park

West Shore group completes most successful, biggest fundraising effort in club history

Langford city council received its single largest donation from a local rotary club for more than $260,000.

The Rotary Club of West Shore presented the cheque for $263,493.77 at the first council meeting of the year.

“It was an awful lot of people that did so much work,” said Andy Pearson, immediate past president of the club. “It’s not that hard to raise money when it’s for such a great cause. We’re all very happy about the community being so supportive.”

The idea for the Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground first began in Pearson’s mind a couple of months after the West Shore RCMP officer was killed by an impaired driver in 2016. As the previous president of the club, Pearson helped bring the memorial park vision to life. From hot dog and burger sales to a lobster dinner party, the club found many ways to collect funds.

It’s taken more than a year to gather the total amount, but their large goal was hit and surpassed. The original goal was $250,000.

Half of the funds came from 500 bricks that the club sold, to be engraved with a name, favourite quote, company name or dedication to a lost loved one. Each brick was sold at a minimum donation of $200.

RELATED: Langford’s Sarah Beckett Memorial playground opens

ALSO READ: West Shore Rotary Lobsterfest raises over $20,000 for memorial playground

These funds went entirely towards the playground equipment and surfacing for the playground. The playground offers two areas for different ages to play – one for two to five-year-olds and another group of equipment for five to 12-year-olds.

But one feature of the park remains a bittersweet reminder of the life that passionately served the community. Carved in stone are the words: “Constable Sarah Beckett – A life that made a difference.”

Going forward, Pearson is excited to get started on the next big project, yet to be determined. Until then, he encourages younger generations to consider joining the Rotary club.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

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