Based on a unanimous vote, Ponoka County council is donating $4,200 to Ponoka Air Cadets to help fund their spring trip to Europe to tour the battlefield and war memorials.
Coun. Mark Matejka was excited about the request because the Air Cadets is such a youth-centered organization.
Coun. Doug Weir asked council whether approving such a large donation would open the floodgates on council. “So do we open a Pandora’s Box here by giving $4,200? Everybody can come and say you’ve done it, like I can see $200, the (Roping and Riding) club wanted a couple hundred for a buckle or something. That’s reasonable.”
CAO Charlie Cutforth says, in the past, the Air Cadets and the Legion has always been a priority of council, support-wise. “And you can decide if that’s a priority for you or not.”
“As far as these events, like to sponsor the Roping and Riding, that does open a Pandora’s Box,” he added. Cutforth believes every event between Ponoka and Rimbey will be looking for the same treatment from council.
According to Cutforth the Air Cadets have never asked the county for much.
“The nice thing about this Air Cadet one is they’re using it as a multiplier. They’re not asking for the $4,200 and using it, they’re going to multiply upon their work,’ said Matejka.
“They want to do their own fundraising, we’re just supporting them in their fundraiser efforts,” said Cutforth.
The request came to council as a budget consideration but due to the limited time Cadets have to gather funds, council dealt with it immediately.
All other requests — Liberty Hall construction, Fort Ostell Museum, Rimbey Horticultural Society, Ponoka Roping and Riding Association and the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance — that were included in the Dec. 10 agenda package were deferred for budget consideration in March.