Giveaways,  Health,  parenting

Win $25 K for Your Park – Kraft Celebration Tour #KCT


It might not have made front page news, but the day they unveiled Mayor Norm Jary Park in Guelph, the world shifted just a little bit for my brother and I. First of all, we had our pictures in the local daily, The Guelph Mercury (local section). That in itself was an event – and pretty cool for a grade schooler. I recall the photo opp with the mayor. I think I might have been nine or so standing in the background and my little brother was cute as a button perched atop a slide. Aside from the school playground and the sloping backyard where I collected toads, pussy willows and crab apples, that neighbourhood park would become our hangout. We rode our bikes there together after school and played on the climbing equipment, sliding down slides, swinging on swings and playing at – the business of being kids.

I remember the day my best friend Sheila and I, found a five dollar bill in a wallet with no ID. We plotted our adventure and came back the next week. That Saturday we rode our bikes all the way down to Home Hardware which was much further than we were allowed to go, and then we stopped at the park on the way back to peruse our purchases. It was the best place to share secrets.

Some Fridays after school my Mom visited a lady nearby named Mary and while they talked boring grownup stuff and shared tea we built worlds out of our imaginations and shared dreams. Sometimes we met new friends and practices our social skills. We just thought we were having fun.

Now I am a parent with kids of my own. I cherish outdoor time with my girls and a lot of our special times are set at parks. Luckily, we have some pretty great community parks in London. Recently a gorgeous splash pad went in to one of those parks and my kids will ask to go there often this summer. We enjoy Gibbons Park in the old North area of town also.

My Mom just last Mother’s Day 2012, my brother, my niece and my daughter Payton at Gibbons Park

Over the last few years I’ve had a lot of great times at parks, and strangely a lot of debates about the importance of parks and playground spaces. Sometimes the debate goes like this: kids don’t need stuff and equipment, just give them a backyard and a ball to play and they can be creative. That might be true for a very small segment of the kid population, but I believe most kids and families benefit from playgrounds, parks and equipment and splash pads and open spaces and nature. Maybe throw in a ball or two too. In my childhood, playgrounds were important canvases to build our imagination, grow our social skills, strengthen large and fine motor skills and share secrets.

In the last couple of years, playgrounds and parks have been the backdrop for summers off school, and fun family celebrations. Those times are precious now as with each passing year the kids grow so much bigger, and older members of our family get frailer and less able to join in the celebrations.

Right now you can nominate a community park in your neighbourhood for the Kraft Celebration Tour. The Kraft Celebration Tour recognizes the passion and community spirit that brings people together and promotes healthy, active lifestyles. Since 2009, the Kraft Celebration Tour has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians in 40 deserving communities with a total of $1 million toward projects such as:

  • Building a skateboard park
  • Upgrading a sports field
  • Improving a boxing facility
  • Renovating a community youth centre
Right now you can nominate your community ( to win $25,000 to create something new or improve an existing space you love. And as part of the package you can win a TSN broadcast of the celebration. Canadians can nominate their community online at and tourneedecelebrationkraft.cauntil June 7.

To nominate a community, Canadians are asked to submit a short essay and up to five photos explaining why their community deserves to be a part of the Kraft Celebration Tour and how the $25,000 community award will go towards the creation or improvement of a local community space.  The essay should also touch upon how the award would help promote community spirit, a passion for sports, and an active lifestyle.  

This post was compensated and is a partnership between, Kraft and Mom Central Canada. My opinion is all my own.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

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