Students raise $1,600 for pedestrian trail bridge
South Huron District High School (SHDHS) students raise more than $1,600 to support Pedestrian Bridge on the South Huron Trail
Students from South Huron District High School (SHDHS) in Exeter, Ontario have helped to make their community safer and more active by raising $1,612.75 for the Pedestrian Bridge on the South Huron Trail Project. “It’s nice to be able to make a difference in your community,” said Stephan Ducharme, Chair of the school’s Athletic Council. “It’s a good feeling.”
The SHDHS Athletic Council, with the support of students and local businesses, donated the money to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and the Jones Bridge Project. Students gathered in the secondary school gymnasium on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 to present the cheque to Lorne Rideout, a member of the Pedestrian Bridge Community Working Group.
“We always do a fundraiser each year,” said Stephan. “This year we decided it should be the project to build a new Pedestrian Bridge on the South Huron Trail – we thought it was great.” Jones Bridge will benefit young people in the community, he said. “The bridge will be really helpful,” he said. “We use the trail quite a bit.”
The Athletic Council Chair said students took part in a number of activities to raise the money. The chance to watch their school’s hockey teams play through a voluntary ‘buy-out’ was one incentive which encouraged students to contribute. The Athletics Council also hosted activities such as a puck shoot-out competition and selling tickets for raffle baskets. The Chair of the Athletic Council thanked Darren Kints and Dairy Queen of Exeter for offering prizes and matching money raised in the shoot-out contest in order to help students to achieve the generous fundraising total they did.
“We have a really generous community,” Stephan said. “This is definitely a good demonstration of how our community gives back.”
The community has now donated or pledged more than $275,000 towards the project to complete Jones Bridge and donations are still needed to complete the project. The pedestrian bridge has been placed on the South Huron Trail and is open for use and ancillary structures such as stairs are to be placed this year.
Thanks to the community support for the pedestrian bridge, people can now travel from one trail section to the other without walking beside vehicle traffic in order to do it. The bridge is called Jones Bridge as it is dedicated by Donna Jones, in loving memory of Ted Jones. Ted Jones was a dedicated community volunteer and conservationist and a long-time director of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and a long-time member of the Exeter Lions Club.
Donations to the Jones Bridge project, made directly to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, are eligible for charitable gift receipts for income tax purposes. To learn more, or to donate, visit abca.ca or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610. You are also invited to contact any of the members of the community working group. Their names are in the bridge brochure available online and in printed copies.