The Castle Downs Recreation Society, (CDRS) is an Area Council of the City of Edmonton, comprised of volunteers from the six Community Leagues of Castle Downs (Baturyn, Caernarvon, Carlisle, Cumberland-Oxford, Dunluce, and Lorelei Beaumaris). For the last twenty-eight years our organization has been dedicated to improving the lives of our residents, by providing funding towards capital projects within the Castle Downs area for all ages. As we continue to look for new and improved ideas/facilities for our residents to enjoy, we also recognize that there are others in the world that has nothing in comparison.
In 2010, the Castle Downs district playground was being replaced, and most of the old equipment was in perfectly good condition. Instead of taking this old equipment to a landfill, why not bring it to some children of the world who had nothing. A group of nineteen volunteers formed a sub-committee of the CDRS, and were known as The Philippines Playground Project. Their vision was to bring playground equipment (in good condition) to children in a country less fortunate. These volunteers paid their own way and worked hard to fund raise and elicit donations from community leagues, local residents, schools and businesses. The response was incredible! What started as just a playground, blossomed into providing school supplies, sports equipment and playschool furnishings for a local village located in Gerona, Philippines. For the first time in their lives, these children played with soccer balls instead of rocks and sticks, were shown how to use a swing and slide, climb around the many structures erected (toddler, youth and 10+), and enjoy individual gifts of toys, pencils and books. With the additional donations and funds accumulated; a volleyball/basketball court was erected in a vacant dirt lot, and instead of the well water that was manually pumped by the residents, running water was finally plumbed in to each 20’ x 20’ concrete home.
After returning from this remarkable trip, the group decided to change their name to CDRS International. This name opened up opportunities to build playgrounds worldwide. In 2013 twenty-three volunteers once again paid their own way, and this time their destination was Hoi An, Vietnam. The result of this venture was a playground for hundreds of children, not far from their schools. This playground remains busy year round, enjoyed by children of all ages.
Their next project was a trip to Villa El Carmen, Nicaragua. It took approximatly three years to get this project off the ground, but on February 4th, 2016 sixteen members of CDRS International left Edmonton for Villa El Carmen, Nicaragua. They struggled with customs and duty issues since they had first decided on Nicaragua as their destination, but the seacan was packed on December 19th, and it left Edmonton the following Monday. As the saying goes, the rest was history.
The next project took the group to Cambodia. It was the biggest playground yet and the largest group of volunteers ever. Two years of planning and fundraising culminated in a playground built for the children of Chombok Primary School, Chombok Village, Prek Prasob District, Kratie Province, Cambodia.
I'm excited to announce that the CDRS International group is now in the planning stages for their next trip. What had originally been planned for an early 2021 departure, and because of the pandemic, it has tentatively been rescheduled for February 2024 ( or until such a time that it is safe to travel) The group is currently in the process of deciding on a location for their next project. Along with a playground, they will be taking educational material, clothing and sports equipment. Their Mission statement reads:
Making a difference in the lives of others through donations and fund-raising, to provide recreational apparatus, educational material and/or services for youth in countries less fortunate.
We are looking to you, our neighbors, to once again contribute to this very worthwhile cause. Every little bit helps in making this dream a reality. Within the next year, we will be raising money through various fund-raising events. Your contribution in the form of a donation ( material or monetary ) would be appreciated, as well as posting / sharing any information for the promotion of these events. Unfortunately, as we are not a registered charity, we are not able to issue a tax receipts.
SEE NEXT PROJECT 2024 PAGE FOR SILENT AUCTION INFORMATION
Should you wish to make a donation or contribute to this project, please e-mail us at :
Thank you for helping to bring happiness to the children of our world !
President, Castle Downs Recreation Society
Every child should have the opportunity to play !
Making a difference in the lives of others through donations and fund-raising,
to provide recreational apparatus, educational material and/or services for
youth in countries less fortunate
THANK-YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT AND SUPPORTED THIS FUNDRAISER.
YOUR ATTENDANCE AND GENEROSITY WAS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED BY THE CDRS INTERNATIONAL
THE PROCEEDS WILL HELP COVER SOME OF THE COSTS OF THEIR FUTURE PLAYGROUND BUILD.