Shaking things up for a new Transfer Beach playground

MIlkshake fundraiser will help, but campaign needs more support as deadline looms

Naomi Sturrock serves up a milkshake at Stelur — practice for new contest aimed to tantalize local tastebuds while helping rebuild the playground at Transfer Beach Park.

Naomi Sturrock serves up a milkshake at Stelur — practice for new contest aimed to tantalize local tastebuds while helping rebuild the playground at Transfer Beach Park.

Chai Tea? Bubblegum? Maple Walnut With Candied Bacon?

They may not be your traditional choices of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate, but the fancy milkshake flavours featured in the Great Shakeout are doing more than tantalize your tastebuds.

They are helping get a new playground built at Transfer Beach Park.

Stelur Eatery on First Avenue in Ladysmith has challenged its servers to create exotic milkshake flavours and market them to the community. During the weekend of April 10-12, customers get to vote by ordering their favourite. Twenty percent of all proceeds will go to playground project.

The contest couldn’t come at a better time for Ladysmith’s Rotary and Kinsmen clubs, who are up against a looming deadline in their fundraising drive to replace the park’s deteriorating playground. Age and wear have made it necessary to replace the existing playground after 19 years. The new one will be the third built at the park.

“Our goal is to have it built by July 1. It’s the start of the summer and the beach starts to get busy,” Kinsman Duck Paterson said. “To have it ready for July 1, we have to have it ordered by April 15.”

The catch is the playground will cost about $152,000 to install and, as of last week, the total in the playground fund was $112,000.

Paterson said a May 2 dance featuring Alf Carter and the annual Eggs Benefit fundraiser June 14 at the Oceanview Community Church will help bridge the gap. But both those fundraisers are coming after the April 15 deadline. Those events will help make up for any shortfall, but in order to place the order without making a huge leap of faith, the campaign needs an injection now.

“We don’t have a Plan B when we get to April 15,” Paterson said. “I don’t anticipate the $50,000, but we will be lot closer.”

Anyone interested in making a cash donation to the playground fund can do so at the Ladysmith Credit Union. Or you can take your empties to the bottle depot and ask them to transfer the proceeds to the Transfer Beach playground account. Or you can come up with a fundraiser of your own.

Co-owner Lurene Haines said Stelur wanted to do something for the community and the playground benefits all local kids and families. She hopes the community gets as excited about the Shakeout initiative as her staff.

“Our youngest server came up with the vanilla chai tea. She tested it on a bunch of friends and they were champing at the bit,” she said. “I’m hopeful they can reach their goal. They’ve been working really hard.”

As an added bonus to the Shakeout, customers can suggest their own flavours, starting right now. The three top vote-getters will be added to the menu and served for a few weeks. If any proves popular, it could become a permanent item on the menu. The creator of the most popular shake will also get free milkshakes for a week.

For more on the Shakeout, contact Stelur at 924-0024. For more on the playground project, and other related fundraisers, call 250-245-2263.