I am writing to expand on the article titled “BBBAA’s dispute with council nears the boiling point,” in the Irish Loop Post November 15, 2018 to articulate the value that an organization like the BBBAA brings to our region. As a board we are thrilled that the funding to support the BBBAA has been passed by both councils, thus enabling us to focus on delivering services and new infrastructure into the region.
Over the last 12 years, the BBBAA Board of Directors, past and present, have been solely focused on making our region a better place to live, and I like many others, certainly feel as though we’ve succeeded. There have been people in the region that don’t understand how our office works, but I hope last week’s article clarified any questions.
As I read the article, I realized the story only focused on two towns and not the region as a whole, and the purpose of this letter is to highlight the various projects we completed. In our 12 years, the BBBAA has generated funding for local infrastructure and programs at our annual Auction. These funds have been used to leverage additional government funding to make a project become reality. As well, funds are used to run off the annual Winter Carnival, high school scholarships, and cover any deficits that a program incurs to ensure it breaks even to name a few. I’d like to take a moment to highlight the significant contributions that have been made to the region as a whole.
The funds referenced below are 100 per cent solely from the auction and not from taxpayers of any community.
O’Connor 50+ Club
The O’Connor 50+ Club has always been a major supporter of the BBBAA and vice versa. If you have ever attended our annual auction, you will see upwards of 30 members, selling raffle tickets, operating the coat check, wrapping gifts until 3am to ensure the auction is a huge success. In turn, to say thank-you, the BBBAA has donated $25,100 to help with their annual operations and programming. The auction would not be what it is today without the support of the 50+ Club members.
Local Schools – St. Bernard’s & Mobile Central High School
In 2014, both schools approached the BBBAA looking to replace its old and incomplete school sport uniforms. The BBBAA and Subway partnered to replace all jerseys in both St. Bernard’s and Mobile Central High School. The value of this partnership was in excess of $10,000. The BBBAA also proudly purchased a score clock for St. Bernard’s to support its sports program which cost $7,000. As always, we support the purchase of other sports equipment that has been required by the students of both schools. As well, the BBBAA annually presents a scholarship at the annual Cap and Gown Ceremony.
Witless Bay Girl Guides (WBGG)
For the past 5 years the WBGG and their parents, have run a dessert auction as part of our annual auction, which has generated over $70,000 in the last 5 years. We have in turn supported the WBGG when requested, and will continue to do so. Thank-you to everyone involved with the WBGG Dessert Auction in making such a significant contribution to our region.
At the 2017 Auction, the BBBAA decided it would donate $10,000 from its proceeds to a very worthwhile cause, a cause that is universal and one that has affected so many families in our region. We continue to support Shifting Gears by providing our staff at no charge to any of their events to show our 100% commitment to this worthwhile cause.
On the Horizon
The BBBAA are approached by many groups who look for our support. We are evaluating and looking to expand services and infrastructure in Mobile, Witless Bay ballfield site upgrades as well as possibly the construction of a change and washroom facility at the site of the Witless Bay pool. The BBBAA are also looking at a replacement plan for the playground on Sheldon drive in Bay Bulls that was removed a year ago. Finally, we are also looking to support a request from Southern Shore Minor Hockey to purchase rink boards for its younger divisions.
With the committed support of both councils and surrounding communities now and well into the future, the BBBAA will focus on delivering quality programs for everyone in our region. We are always looking for ideas on how to improve programming and encourage anyone that has an idea to share it. Collectively, we will be successful. If you or your community group has an idea please pass it along.
In closing, as I always say “The best is yet to come.”