Members of Town Council and senior staff along with donors and volunteers from local service clubs gathered at the Old Pelham Town Hall in Ridgeville on Thursday, Dec. 15, to acknowledge the generosity of the individuals and organizations throughout the Niagara Region who have contributed to the Town’s fundraising campaign for the new Pelham Community Centre (PCC). During the press conference the Town announced three major gifts helping to move them closer to their goal of raising $3 million of the $36.2 million needed to finance the new PCC.

Currently in the first phase of the capital fundraising campaign, the names of Pelham’s two new arenas were announced along with the donations totaling $400,000. Stepping forward with a donation from his company, Accipiter Radar Technologies, President and CEO Tim Nohara announced they would be donating $250,000 to the project. In an expression of gratitude, the Town designated that Arena A — which features an NHL-sized ice surface and a 1,000-seat spectator area— will henceforth be known as the Accipiter Arena. With the capacity to host major sporting events, tradeshows, concerts, and other commercial affairs, the Town says that Accipiter Arena will provide Pelham with a new range of opportunities for economic growth and community development.

“I am a resident of Pelham whose life, along with the lives of my family and co-workers, has been enriched by this charming community for many years,” said Nohara.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Accipiter Radar Technologies, the tiny high-tech company I re-located to Pelham in 1995, has been able to grow here in this fertile and welcoming community. We are proud to be able to pay it forward by investing in the Pelham Community Centre, a once-in-a-lifetime undertaking that will enrich the lives of our present and future residents for years to come.”

Vice-presidents of the Duliban Insurance Company, Jason and Adam Duliban, were proud to carry on their family’s long history of giving back to the community they call home, declaring that they would be donating $125,000 to the capital fundraising campaign for the PCC. Though smaller in seating capacity — 100 seats at ice-level — the new Duliban Insurance Arena, formerly known as Arena B, will also feature an NHL-sized ice surface. Providing visitors with an accessible, warm space to enjoy the activities in the arena below an upper level viewing area has been incorporated into the design.

The third major donation of the day came from the Trillium Mutual Insurance Company. President and CEO of the company, Joe Dietrich pledged that his company would be contributing $25,000 to the fundraising campaign.

Designed with the intention of becoming the community’s hub for health and wellness, private and corporate events, sports and recreation, Mayor Dave Augustyn said the new PCC — like Pelham’s Old Town Hall, where they had assembled — would form the backbone of the community.

“They are buildings and amenities where friends and neighbours come together to celebrate, to perform, to learn, to play, to gather, to discuss, and to receive services,” he said.

“The new PCC will serve as a community hub for residents of all ages, offering a wide variety of recreational, social, health and community activities for many years to come.”

Augustyn told the crowd he deeply appreciated all those involved over the years who have worked on developing the new PCC, stating that the process had been a community-led grassroots initiative.

“Our ground-breaking event and gift announcements show that by working together we can achieve great things and can continue to transform and improve our community,” he said.

Working on the fundraising campaign with consultants from Interkom Smart Marketing, the Town plans to move into the community fundraising campaign phase in late 2017 or early 2018.