Small charity event could see everyone ‘Rock Together’ next summer

A small celebration could become a small celebration this summer if organizers can rock it.

Let’s Rock Together is a charity event that was recently proposed to Tiny Council which, if successful, could see participants congregate at Balm Beach to eat, drink and dance to Desotos music.

Project manager Don Chapman, known for successfully advertising the Terry Fox Run charity events in North Simcoe, spoke for most of the presentation alongside event chair Diane Leblovic previously known for the popular Balm Beach Family Fun Day events in 2018 and 2019.

“It’s unlike anything we’ve offered before,” Chapman said. “I think it’s great, and we get emotional comments from some people when we tell them about this event.”

In the pitch for the event, Chapman remarked that there was a sense of duress throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, from choices to emotions.

“One in two words I hear from people is ‘virtual’, and frankly I’m sick of it. I’m ready for the “real,” Chapman said excitedly.

Proposed to be held in the early evening at Perkinsfield Park in early July, the inclusive, mobility-friendly outdoor event would be limited to 500 people with pre-registration required. Protocols consistent with provincial and public health guidelines at the time would be adopted.

“We hope COVID is over,” Chapman remarked. “If the controls are still as strict as they are today, we will deal with it. We will not resist them; we will fully support them and activate these checks as they occur.

Chapman added that if permitted, the event would be restricted to those 19 and older for alcoholic beverages, with the largest cost variable in upfront expenses going to catering services. Estimated expenses for Let’s Rock Together ranged between around $12,000 and $16,000, but around $28,000 in revenue could come back.

“If you want to invest your money in someone, invest in us. We seek to give you back a two-to-one return on investment. The way we see it: you, we, the township, are going to make money with this that we can reinvest in our community,” Chapman boasted.

The charity event aims to raise money to improve Parkside Park, and while the initial stages didn’t set out the exact goals for the funds, Leblovic spoke to park users and saw what was missing.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is teenagers coming down to sit on the spinner and talk,” Leblovic said. “We need something for them, and one of the things that keeps coming up…is basketball half-courts.”

Leblovic added that other considerations included a shaded area, additional picnic benches and fitness equipment to accommodate people with reduced mobility.

Com. John Bryant asked what was required of the Township regarding cost and labor given the event.

Leblovic responded that while preliminary costs were not available to provide specific amounts, previous participation in the Balm Beach Family Fun Day resulted in the township contributing approximately $4,000 in in-kind services.

Com. Gibb Wishart jovially stated that the event would face the problem of turning people away due to its popularity.

“From a budget point of view, it’s a money-making event; your track record speaks for itself. I want some of our other budget expenses to be self-funded,” Wishart admitted.

“It would be great to go to a real party again,” Coun admitted. Cindy Hastings. “Hopefully we can do it right.”

The board passed the motion to support Let’s Rock Together in principle, with the intention that the organizers provide details on the financial request and support for the event at a later date. The proposal said a follow-up review for the board is tentatively scheduled for spring 2022.

Chapman and Leblovic’s presentation can be found as part of the agenda on the Tiny Township website.

Archives of council meetings can be viewed on the Tiny Township YouTube channel.

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