Organizers for the 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador Summers Games remain confident that a sufficient number of corporate sponsors and volunteers will come forward to help ensure a successful event in Harbour Grace and Carbonear.
But co-chair Milton Peach acknowledged that plenty of work remains to be done, and efforts to solicit the needed support will continue.
"I know that over the coming weeks we will have other sponsors come on board, and we will have as good a set of Games as have ever been held in the province, here in the towns of Carbonear and Harbour Grace," Peach stated following a luncheon in Carbonear on May 23 for those who have signed on as platinum ($25,000-plus or equivalent in-kind) sponsors for the Aug. 18-25 event.
Those sponsors include TC Media, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, KIXX Country, Eastlink, towns of Carbonear and Harbour Grace, Atlantic Grocery Distributors/Powell's Supermarkets, Subway, Eastern School District, Newfoundland Power and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Organizers are also soliciting sponsors at the following:
• gold — value of $15,000-$24,999 or equivalent in-kind;
• silver — value of $10,000-$14,999 or equivalent in-kind;
• bronze — value of $5,000-$9,999 or equivalent in-kind;
• friends of the Games — value of $1,000-$4,999 or equivalent in-kind; and
• patron of the Games — value of $500-$999 or equivalent in-kind.
Peach said planning is going "very, very well," and noted that volunteer recruitment is posing somewhat of a challenge.
"We're hopeful and optimistic we will have enough volunteers to carry the Games through. But volunteers in 2012 are not as easy to come by as they were 20 years ago. But we're sure the people will step up to the plate and we'll be OK."
The two towns also hosted the Games in 1992, and Peach is confident that participants and organizers will feel the same sense of pride and accomplishment as they did two decades ago.
But he emphasized that hosting the Games is an "expensive proposition," with a budget of some $450,000. The provincial government will cover the cost of transporting athletes to the Games.
Some 1,600 athletes are expected to descend on the Conception Bay North towns to participate in sports like synchronized swimming, baseball, softball, ball hockey, golf, tennis, beach volleyball, soccer, swimming and athletics. And if you include coaches, area representatives and parents, the number swells to some 3,000, say organizers.
"Right now, we feel we are on track, but we need to keep plugging away to make sure at the end of the day the youth that's coming here, it will be no cost to them, and we will run, at the end of the day, a balanced budget," said Peach.
Peach said another priority in the coming days is finalizing food catering services for the event.
Peach had high praise for Games' co-ordinator Stephanie Bourne, and also commended officials with the towns of Harbour Grace and Carbonear for their continuing support.