Kids in Motion held a petting zoo during OrcaFest to raise funds for their play centre.

Kids in Motion making moves

The Kids in Motion Society is closing in on their fundraising goal of $30,000.

The Kids in Motion Society held a petting zoo during OrcaFest and raised a grand total of $1,800, which included $1,250 raised by Marine Harvest’s salmon burger stand, for their play centre that is currently being built.

“In a nutshell, we’ve raised $20,000 total so far and we’ve got another $2,000 that’s been verbally committed,” said Matt Martin, one of the Directors of the Kids in Motion Society. “We’re hoping to open the doors to the play centre in October, but realistically, the opening date might have to be pushed back if we don’t get another $10,000 by then.” The $10,000 is for the initial start up costs.

The Kids in Motion play centre will be located in the Port McNeill mall, in-between Subway and the Bargain Shop, in the old Greyhound station space.

“What attracted us to that location is its visibility. We also wanted to help revitalize the downtown core,” said Martin.

“We’ve already installed the main playground equipment – but we’re still putting in the play structures in the toddler area, and we still have to build cubbies, desks, and put in some flooring. Those are all the initial costs to open the doors.”

Once the play centre is officially opened for business, “We’ll be able to bring in revenue from drop ins, parties, and sell memberships,” Martin said, stating that the society will continue fund-raising to meet their ultimate goal of $50,000, which he says they will hopefully be able to reach within a year.

“We recently held a ladies movie night at the Gate House Theatre to give moms a night out. We’re planning to do another one in the fall, and hopefully we’ll have time to have a barbecue fund-raiser before the weather changes.”

The society has also re-applied for a gaming licence so they can hold 50/50 draws and other types of gaming raffles.

Kids in Motion is incredibly happy with how they have been received so far by the Port McNeill community. “We’ve had quite a number of sizeable donations from local businesses, and everyone’s been incredibly receptive,” said Martin. People are “constantly giving us positive feedback. The play centre is something that’s really needed here and I think people are excited that some change is happening. We’re very optimistic that we will hit the $30,000 mark by October.”

At this point the two main things the society needs are more money to finish renovations and more volunteers to help actually run the play centre once it’s finished.

“So far we’ve gotten a commitment from three Grade 12 students at NISS to help volunteer, and we’ve sent a notice off to see if any other NISS students are interested.” Volunteering at the play centre will benefit students when they go on to post-secondary studies by having it on their resume, and by receiving references for their hard work.

“We’re looking for volunteers to put in 4-10 hours a month. We’re planning to be open six hours a day, Wednesday to Sunday, with varied times so parents can come after work hours,” said Martin, because the play centre “is not a daycare, parents have to be there with their kids. It’s a space for families to interact and provide them something to do, especially during the rainy months.”

The Kids in Motion Society is about “more than just a play centre. We want to do other projects within the community. One of the ideas we’ve floated around is to offer day camps by next summer, but our overall goal is to make Port McNeill the most family-friendly town in Mt. Waddington, and the best place to raise children on the entire island.”

The Kids in Motion Society is a registered non-profit founded in February 2016 by a group of six parents dedicated to an indoor play centre for children ages 0-9. Their purpose is to enhance community and to create a safe and accessible space to promote health, wellness, and development. They can be reached at https://www.facebook.com/pmkidsinmotion, or by email at pmkidsinmotion@gmail.com.