TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The Toronto-based Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project is proud to be selected for the semi-final round of the Aviva Community Fund's online voting contest when it opens Monday December 3-12. This now makes it one of just 30 community projects left of more than 1500 voted by Canadians as "most popular idea" to win Aviva's largest $100,000 to $150,000 award. Its idea, "Let there be Light!" is to win outdoor sports lighting for its brand new sustainable multi-sport field when it opens next summer so that youth in the Priority Neighbourhood of Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park can participate in free programming longer into the night.
The project is holding three back-to-back spirit assemblies on tha afternoon of Monday, Dec. 3 when a "Gangnam-style Let there be Light!" video will be shown. And a school-wide pizza party will be held to celebrate the launch of the semi-finals. Students will also be invited to vote in their classrooms and in an outdoor heated tent with laptops set up outside the school.
Assemblies will start at 12:50 pm on Monday Dec. 3 for the 1,050 students at Valley Park Middle School who helped vote for the idea with friends, family, feeder schools and other competitors in an earlier round to qualify for the semi-finals.
Led by students and community leaders onstage dressed in bright green and yellow project t-shirts and Aviva Community Fund t-shirts, project fans will join in the Gangnam-style dance and hear from a Grade 8 student Abeir Liton about prize draws for students who vote each day.
"We have an advantage because of the size of this community," says Nickolas Stefanoff, VPMS principal and project co-chair, "and the popularity of soccer and cricket in these neighbourhoods. Our students come from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan , Bangladesh and India , where cricket is a near-religion. Offering free training in these sports late into the night will improve lives and keep kids fully engaged and off the streets. We've been grateful to the community for their support in this contest which is why we're semi-finalists."
Voting booths were set up in shopping malls and apartments buildings thanks to supportive landlords such as Centennial Towers and Morguard Investments.
The Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field project, located at 130 Overlea Blvd. at Don Mills Road is a partnership between a committee of staff, students, parents and activists from VPMS with the two neighbourhood settlement services agencies: Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office and Flemingdon Neighbourhood Services; as well as Toronto & Region Conservation Authority.
The project has sub-licensed the VPMS backyard and an adjacent Hydro field from the Toronto District School Board and Hydro One to create a large sustainable multi-sport cricket field irrigated by school rooftop recaptured rainwater. It will be surrounded by a new red clay running track, a bioswale, wetland, butterfly meadow and urban forest. The $1.1 million Phase One project will be completed next spring, 2013. Winning this grant will make outdoor sports lighting part of Phase One. People are invited to register for the Aviva contest and vote for this idea at https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf16293 or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/avivacommunityfund?sk=app_86018144944. People can also vote through a link on the project website www.gogreencricketfield.ca.
Media is also invited to attend the spirit assemblies and vote in our outdoor voting booth.
Image with caption: "Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project Entering Semi-Finals As One of Canada's TOP THIRTY elected most popular ideas in Aviva Contest! Imagine playing on the field next summer a lot longer under the light. (CNW Group/Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121130_C5165_PHOTO_EN_21407.jpg
SOURCE: Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project
For further information:
Nickolas Stefanoff, VPMS Principal and Project co-chair, 416-949-4130
Owen McDermott, VPMS media teacher, 416-396-2465
Lisa Grogan-Green, Project co-chair, 647-388-3200
Deborah Knight, DKPR, 416-200-3577