More good news for Belli Foundation
by Randy Pascal
It's been a very good month to be a member of the Fabio Belli Foundation.
Less than two weeks after Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault confirmed a Province of Ontario financial commitment of four million dollars ($ 4,000,000)
towards the construction of an indoor multi-sport turf facility on the grounds of Lasalle Secondary School, the Foundation received another positive
shot in the arm this week.
The local group was selected as one of 16 successful applicants, right across the country, to receive monies via the Jays Care Foundation
Field of Dreams program. The local request for $150,000 in funding was approved as part of the more than $1.4 million that was announced on Tuesday
"The end goal is to put artificial turf on the infield at Terry Fox (Sports Complex - Field #1)," noted Belli Foundation board member
Jean-Gilles Larocque. "I've been wanting to get that field turfed for years now."
"Last summer, I worked at a baseball camp in Moose Factory. Jays Care were up there as well and did the camp with me. A conversation about funding
came about, and they gave me the deadlines."
While the paperwork process can be a time-consuming one, Larocque is adament his efforts clearly proved to be worthwhile. "There's money out there -
that's what I have learned with a lot of this stuff," he said.
"There's money out there, if you're willing to put the work in. Our community has so many different needs. The taxpayers dollars can't go to everything,
because people are passionate about so many different things. We need to take care of things ourselves."
In fact, Larocque has found a way to leverage with a variety of valuable contributors. "We had turf donated to us - that's a save of about $200,000," he
noted. "A local contractor has donated the work to excavate the field."
Though there remains some logistics that still need to be worked through, Larocque is confident that they will be able to break ground by the end of
September/early October 2018.
And while the existing local baseball community stands to benefit, understandably, from this grant, the high school teacher at Bishop
Alexander Carter Catholic Secondary School and founder of The Baseball Academy is anxious to expand the scope of programming in the area.
"The Challenger Baseball program is one that we want to offer," he said. "It's a missing link in our community for baseball. People with cognitive
and physical disabilities will have access to this field. That's a big piece of what we are trying to do."
For further information on the Fabio Belli Foundation, or to make a donation, simply visit the group's website at www.bellifoundation.ca.