The elementary school back in 2016. File photo.

Interlakes Community Centre fundraising for new playground

Children were left without a playground after the Bridge Lake school closed

It’s been a while since anyone monkeyed around in the Interlakes area.

The Interlakes Community Centre is trying to change that by fundraising for a new playground after the one at the now-closed Bridge Lake Elementary School was moved by School District 27 to Horse Lake Elementary two and a half years ago.

“The next playground is in 100 Mile, which is 45 kilometres west of us. There’s nothing around here. We don’t have a school anymore, so kids don’t have a safe environment to play,” said Maggie Benzing, booking clerk for the Interlakes Community Association.

Benzing said the Bridge Lake School Society, which still had $8,000 in their account after the school closed, approached the Interlakes Community Centre last year and donated the money to them on the condition they use it to build a new playground at the centre.

“It’s community property so no one can take that playground away from us,” said Benzing, adding that they will reclaim one of the two softball diamonds for the project.

According to Benzing, the playground will be nature-themed.

“It looks really pretty,” she said.

It is set to include the standard playground products such as monkey bars, slides, swings, etc.

She also said the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) pledged to give them $5,000. In total, they are hoping to raise $25,000. This led them to have Valentine’s Day Dinner, Dance and Auction on Feb. 15.

The James Gang Band will also be playing covers of tunes from the 70s, 80s, and 90s as well as some country songs.

Items donated to the ICC for the auction can be viewed on their Facebook page.

Tickets for the event are $25 which will go, in addition to auction items sold, directly into the fundraiser. Afterwards, they will apply for a grant.

Benzing said they are hoping to start building the playground this year, but can’t start until a grant is approved which might not be possible until April.

“We have all the plans in place, we just need to get the money together.”

She said they have received some private cash donations and will continue to accept them either through e-transfers ( and through the mail or in-person at the Interlakes Community Centre on 7592, Highway 24.

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