Watford community complex fundraising surpasses 50%, opening planned for fall

East Lambton Community Complex Fundraising Committee campaign co-chairs George and Rhonda Noll celebrate reaching $1.1 million of $2 million goal. May 16, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Township of Warwick

The fundraising campaign for the East Lambton Community Complex in Watford has surpassed the halfway mark of its $2 million goal.

The campaign co-chairs, George and Rhonda Noll, celebrated the milestone and launched the public phase of the fundraising campaign with local dignitaries on Monday.

Local dignitaries gather to celebrate reaching $1.1 million of $2 million fundraising goal for the East Lambton Community Complex. May 16, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Township of Warwick

(Local dignitaries gather to celebrate reaching $1.1 million of $2 million fundraising goal for the East Lambton Community Complex. May 16, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Township of Warwick)

Rhonda Noll said the community has been very supportive and $1.1 million has been raised so far.

“We did a quiet few months of fundraising first,” said Noll. “We’ve done really, really well. We had a lot of generous donors in the first little bit. We started [fundraising] mid-February, so I think everything looks good so far.”

Lambton Mutual Insurance Co. contributed $200,000 and the Watford Optimist Club gave $100,000 to the fundraising effort.

The ELCC fundraising committee also pledged $240,000 towards the project.

Noll is hoping to reach the fundraising target by the end of summer.

“Personally, I would like to see it by August or mid-August. We want to reach [the goal] at least by opening, which will be at the end of October or beginning of November.”

The group is planning to knock on doors for donations now, but Noll said you don’t have to wait for them to come to you.

“[Donors] can contact anybody that’s on the committee or they could even stop in at the municipal office in Watford and fill out a donation form.”

Arena upgrades have been completed and include three new accessible dressing rooms, upgrades to the existing dressing rooms, new accessible washrooms, an accessible rink viewing area and common area.

The addition to the building, which will replace Centennial Hall, will include a new gymnasium, community hall, an indoor walking track, indoor/outdoor kitchen, and YMCA fitness facility.

Construction of the $11.5 million project started in May, 2021.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held last October.