Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 28, 2003
Knights raise initial amphitheatre funds
Donors can help K of C with this St. Joseph's High School project
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Knights of Columbus in northern Alberta have raised $100,000 for the Father McGivney Amphitheatre at St. Joseph's High School.
But they still have to come up with another $400,000 to complete their promise to Edmonton Catholic School district to renovate the facility.
"It's a slow process because individuals, corporate groups and the councils have to budget for different causes they have committed to," K of C Fred Prather, one of the coordinators of the project, told the WCR.
The group has registered the Father McGivney Theatre Society, as a non-profit group that will raise the funds. But it still has to receive its charitable number from Revenue Canada.
Prather says this is delaying the gathering of funds. Getting the charitable number will expedite the process, Prather said.
The K of C is confident they will be able to gather the required funds within the next five years.
This millennium project of the northern Alberta K of C honours the founder of the order, Father Michael McGivney.
Alberta-NWT state golf tournament this year is being hosted in Edmonton by the Nazareno Council. Proceeds from the tournament, which will feature a silent auction, will be donated to the society.
The idea for the project came from Hank Meronyk, a retired school teacher who is a knight.
In its present condition, the 270-seat facility was of limited usefulness. In fact the school closed access to it by the students. The school used it for concerts, assemblies, meetings and other functions, but the acoustics are not very good and there are no sound and light systems.
When St. Joseph was renovated, a section was built that would house a theatre for the school district. Provincial funding for the theatre was not included in the project so it was not completed.
In a 2001 agreement between the school district and the Knights, both parties itemized the benefits the project will generate.
When finished, the theatre will be open for use by the whole community and not exclusively by the Catholic school district and the K of C. Public schools, youth groups, Columbian Squires, amateur and professional drama groups, among others, are welcome to use the facility for a minimal fee.
Included in the agreement: the Knights will use the facility for no charge until the year 2020; they will also get a permanent office in the building; preferential bookings for officially sanctioned Knights functions.
The facility will also host school concerts, productions and large group functions like the school board public meetings, district meetings and speaker series sponsored by the district.
"We have very good support from the Knights and I hope it continues," Prather noted.
Parties interested in donating to the society can call Fred Prather at (780) 479-3426.