Dunnville Farmers Market fundraising underway

NEW Dunnville MarketThe Sachem

Members of the Dunnville Farmers’ Market Redevelopment Group are inviting the public to take part in two events that will help benefit the market project.

“I think the market building will be a great addition to the waterfront park and enhance that part of the town,” James Richardson, president of the Dunnville Farmers’ Market Association, said.

Richardson is particularly geared up for their fundraising blitz now that Haldimand County council has approved increasing their support to the project by $100,000, bringing their total contribution up to $350,000.

“We had doubled our contribution toward the project, so it was nice to see council come to the table as well,” Richardson said. “We’re glad that Coun. (Rob) Shirton stepped up for us and put that extra (community vibrancy) money in.”

Earlier this month, Richardson and Dean Glenney, owner of KLS Engineering Ltd., asked councillors for more funding toward redeveloping the farmers’ market.

They said the group was prepared to fundraise $200,000 toward the farmers’ market to help pay for a $550,000 signature building.

Councillors supported upping their contribution by $100,000, funded from Ward 5’s share of the Community Vibrancy Fund, and Shirton, the local councillor for the area, agreed.

But Richardson and Glenney also had two other requests. They wanted the county to cover the construction costs upfront, allowing the project to move ahead while the group continues to raise its share.

And they wanted the county to bypass its regular tendering process and allow the group to build the project privately.

Councillors approved the increase in funding in principle, conditional on county staff sorting out those other two requests.

“We’re working with them now and I think they feel we can make this work,” Richardson said. “We’re optimistic about that.”

If everything works out, Richardson’s own goal is to see construction start in the fall and to have both the park and the market building finished in time for the 150th Canada Day celebration in 2017.

In order to fulfill their end of the deal, the redevelopment group has two major fundraisers in the works.

Residents are invited to the Dunnville Farmers’ Market Dinner and Auction on April 8 at the Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the buffet dinner starts at 6:30. There will be a live auction that starts at 8 p.m., as well as a silent auction.

Those interested in attended and supporting the market redevelopment project can purchase $20 tickets from Margaret Clark by calling 905-774-5463 or emailing buyfresh.dfm@gmail.com.

“We are accepting donations for the live and silent auction items as well,” Richardson said, adding those donations can be directed to Clark.

Residents are also invited to come out to the third annual charity golf tournament, hosted by Duliban Insurance Brokers.

The fundraiser will take place on June 8 at Sparrow Lakes Golf Club in Welland.

Tickets are $110 and include golf with a cart, lunch, prime rib dinner, games and live auction. Participants can RSVP before May 25 to Jessica Duliban at 905-329-9629.

The proceeds from the golf tournament will support the market redevelopment project.

The new market location is on the west side of Bridge Street – not too far away from the existing market location.