A family with five generations of roots in Langley is helping school children stay active.
The Krugers, who have owned On Line Collision for the past 23 years, have created a playground fund through the Langley School District Foundation.
"Langley has been very good to my family and we would like to give something back," explained Milt Kruger, co-owner with his son Daryl.
The funds first school to receive support - $30,000 - is Alex Hope Elementary.
In the past On Line has supported sports teams, Langley Memorial Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, BC Children's Hospital, school fundraisers, cancer research, the Make a Wish Foundation, and other community causes.
"There are so many good causes out there," Milt said.
With the playground initiative, the family wanted to focus on a long-term project or effort.
Family discussions started with a desire to be greener. On Line does what it can to lower its carbon footprint but wanted to do more.
"We wanted to do something significant," he said.
Talk of parks evolved into talk of playgrounds which evolved into talk of kids. The family liked the idea of a green-type project that helps kids. And playgrounds will encourage them to be more active.
The fund will be vital for Alex Hope Elementary's PAC.
In September inspectors ordered the school's 18-year-old playground closed off due to various safety and regulatory issues. The PAC knew the playground was aging but thought there were a couple of years for fundraising.
A replacement playground is expected to cost about $80,000.
School districts don't fund playground equipment replacement and the Ministry of Education does not provide money. It falls to PACs to fundraise.
Now they have some support from the On Line Collision Playground Fund which will provide money for one local public school each year. Money for the playground fund will come from fundraising, events, grants, and donations.
Milt explained that the plan is to have community events in the future to help fill the coffers but no specifics are available yet.
It's an initiative that has taken about two years to come to fruition, from initial conversations.
"This is fantastic news for the foundation and the school district," said foundation executive director, Susan Cairns. "Dozens of schools need new playgrounds and there is no funding available from the Ministry or the district. It has been up to the Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) to try and raise the required funds."
To donate to the fund, go to www.langleyschooldistrictfoundation.com and click on donate. In the comments section indicate that you would like the donation to go into the On Line Collision Playground Fund or send donation cheques to Langley School District Foundation, 4875 222nd St., Langley, B.C., V3A 3Z7.
Learning: Laying a foundation
What exactly is the Langley School District Foundation?
The Langley School District Foundation was established in 2003 to support and promote programs of excellence, not funded by the Ministry of Education.
Although the foundation is independent of the Langley School District, its sole purpose is to support Langley students. The board of directors includes representatives from the community, school trustees, and district administrators.
The Langley School District Foundation with its endowments and fundraising activities supports the Langley School District and the next generation of life-long learners. All foundation funds go directly towards the funding of Langley School District projects.
Its job is to generate resources - donations, sponsorships, partnerships, expertise and volunteers - that will support these initiatives for one to three years. Priority is given to initiatives that are innovative and have system-wide potential.
The foundation does not fund:
- 100 per cent of a project's cost
- retroactive funding
- school construction
- on-going initiatives
- travel expenses and conference fees
- speaker honorariums and expenses
Funding interests include:
- Literacy in all its forms
- Enriched performing and visual arts initiatives
- Special education programs and needs
- Purchase library books and technology equipment
- Developing learning enhancement projects
(From the foundation website)