Cost of naming rights to new community centre revealed
Truro businessman Stu Rath and EastLink founder John Bragg are the primary private donors of the Rath EastLink Community Centre, which is expected to open early in 2013. Submitted photo
TRURO - The two primary private donors to the new regional community centre contributed a combined $1.25 million for the right to have their names attached to the facility.
The contributions came from local businessman and Truro Bearcats owner Stu Rath and John Bragg, founder of EastLink Television and co-CEO of Oxford Frozen Foods Ltd., in exchange for having the building named the Rath EastLink Community Centre.
The dollar amounts had initially been withheld at the request of the donors but the Truro Daily News has decided to publish them because the bulk of the money for the approximately $50 million centre has come from the public purse.
That decision is disappointing to Jon Stanfield, chairman of the fundraising committee, however, who wished to honour the donor's request, especially because the naming rights for various components of the building are generating an estimated $3 million of the $5.5 million community portion of the building's cost.
"And all of those numbers do what? They lessen the burden on the taxpayer that they otherwise would have been," Stanfield said.
"I'm not arguing against the people knowing, I‘m just trying to protect the donors at this point."
Two more naming ceremonies are scheduled for the near future, regarding the arena and swimming pool in the community centre and Stanfield said it was his plan to reveal the total figures raised from the naming effort at that point.
"It's been tricky enough to raise $5 million in this community on the heels of the hospital and probably in the worst economic times, certainly in my lifetime and probably even in a generation," Stanfield said, of his interest in protecting the donor contributions.
"They wrote an enormous cheque to benefit the community. Because their names are on the building is irrelevant. It's what's inside the building that matters ...
"In order to raise money at those levels you need to attach something to it... and the tool of that is to put a name on the building."
And, despite the corporate attachment to the EastLink portion of the name, he said, there will be no company logo on the building.
Some concern has also been expressed in the community over the fact the naming ceremony was held in private before being publicly announced.
Stanfield said the next two naming ceremonies "will be public" with the official announcements to follow donor recognition receptions.
"Certainly the donors wanted to have their contributions remain private and I guess in this circumstance they're not allowed to remain private," he said.
"At the end of the day to me what matters is inside the facility and the activities that that can create and the programming that that can create for the community. And this center should drive a lot of economic activity in the region."
Ignite the Spirit Campaign
Facility naming donors (to date):
Facility name: Stu Rath/EastLink - $1,250,000
Atrium: Friends of David Gilroy - $100,000
Arena (to be disclosed):
Dressing room 1: Scotiabank - $75,000;
Dressing room 2: Stanfield family - $75,000;
Dressing room 3: The Sobey Foundation - $75,000
Score clock: Zack's Auto Sales/Inglis Jewellers - $140,000
Aquatic centre (to be disclosed):
Walking track: Stanfield's - $150,000
Climbing wall: Kohler - $150,000
Multipurpose room A&B - Millbrook First Nations - $250,000
Program room: CIBC - $100,000
Party skybox: Pye Chev Olds - $100,000
Total to date: $2,465,000