Five community groups competing in Community Futures competition

EAST CENTRAL — Five east central community groups are competing to take home $3,000 for their community project with this year’s Community Futures Newsask Challenge 4 Communities.

The public will decide the winners with weekly voting on the internet a four-week period that began on Oct. 28. A person can vote every 24 hours until 8 a.m. on Nov. 25 by going to

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“The reason why we do it is at Newsask we like to give back to the communities in north east Saskatchewan,” said Taylor Watt, CEO of Community Futures Newsask.

“We are a non-profit organization so when we do make money like this, we feel it’s a good cause and this is one way we can put money back into the community to help the different causes.”

The voting is monitored by IP addresses so no two people can vote within 24 hours using the same internet connection.

The first place winner will receive $3,000, second place $2,000, third place $1,000 and fourth place $500.


Little Explorers’ Backyard

The Little Explorers’ Daycare in Tisdale is competing to earn funding for the final phase of their backyard project. The project entails an art and quiet centre, which will have a couch swing with awning, picnic table and art easels attached to the fence. They also intend to add to add more trees, “but a motorized retractable awning over the back deck will be necessary because it is extremely hot on the playground,” the group stated in their proposal.

The final phase also includes garden benches for kids and staff to sit on, and a small climbing wall with knotted climbing ropes.


Melfort Youth Evolution's Get Rollin' Retro

Melfort Youth Evolution is competing to earn funding their “get rollin' retro” project which is seeking to increase physical activity by youth in the city by purchasing four wheeled roller skates, helmets and other protective equipment. The equipment would be made available for all youth to use at no cost on a first come, first served basis during their planned events at the Northern Lights Palace and the new skate park.


Northeast Christian Academy - Playground Project

Northeast Christian Academy is competing to earn funding for their playground project. The project entails creating a play structure behind the school. This play structure will be available to both students and children that attend their church and attend programs the church offers.

Currently, the students go to outdoor recess at the green space behind the Melfort Legion or are bussed to other playgrounds in Melfort.

They are hoping to have the new playground built by the 2020-21 school year.


Random Acts of Kindness Project - James Smith Cree Nation

James Smith Cree Nation is competing to earn the funding for their “Random Acts of Kindness Project”. The project will be a contest of ideas to carry out acts of kindness. It will begin with an awareness campaign and the community will have to enter their own project proposals. At the end of the Challenge for Communities the project will award the top three projects and the prize money will be given out accordingly.


The Safe Haven Project

The North East SPCA (NESPCA) and North East Outreach and Support Services are competing together for their “Safe Haven Project”. The two are working to create a program that allows the NESPCA to take in and care for domestic abuse companion animals for as long as it is needed free of charge to the victims of abusive relationships.

“This program will allow for victims to take refuge in the women’s shelter and focus on healing  mentally, spiritually and physically while knowing their pets are being loved, taken care of, and housed somewhere that the abuser cannot access them,” the project proposal states.

Currently safekeeping of these animals falls on the shoulders of local veterinary clinics and/or a network of fosters around the area, with all associated costs coming out of their own pocket.

The proposal states that the money will go towards daily care such as food, treats, bedding, litter, medication, as well as variable costs associated with housing more animals for their temporary stay at the shelter – but stay strictly allocated to the animals within the Safe Haven Project.

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