BLAKE WOLFE The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Uxbridge Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger paid a visit to his Scugog counterparts this week, pitching a unique fundraising idea for the future home of the animal shelter shared by both municipalities.
Councillor Ballinger announced plans for a joint walkathon for the Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Shelter's new building, slated for construction in the coming years at a Lakeridge Rd. property. The walkathon, envisioned Councillor Ballinger, would involve residents of both townships walking seven kilometres along Reach St. to Epsom, with Scugog walkers departing from the Scugog Arena and Uxbridge participants beginning at the Uxbridge Seniors Centre.
While no formal plan has yet taken shape, the walkathon would likely take place on the morning of September 28, said Councillor Ballinger, adding that he projects such an undertaking could raise upwards of $200,000, citing money raised in other initiatives such a Relay For Life.
"In Epsom you see an old schoolhouse that looks like a doghouse, so it's perfect," said Councillor Ballinger, explaining that the walk would culminate at Epsom Public School with a barbecue and petting zoo. "The group raising funds are doing a great job, but we need a major project to raise major money."
While the Durham Region Police Service and Durham District School Board are "on board" said Councillor Ballinger, discussions have yet to begin with other stakeholders, including his own council, Durham Region Transit (to bus walkers back to their vehicles) and the community of Epsom. One local resident attending the meeting voiced his opposition to the plan.
While Scugog councillors were generally supportive of the plan, a formal resolution is yet to come forward. Discussion of the walkathon by both councils will continue.
"Councils have to be the bridge," said Councillor Ballinger. "This is a chance for both communities to come together for a common cause and be the biggest walkathon Durham has ever seen."
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