The Bootle Bay Homecoming and Regatta Association is excitedly preparing to host a Grill and Chill fund-raising event in aid of constructing the first multi-purpose community park in the quaint West Grand Bahama subdivision.
Veteran businessman Zendal Dean, a native of Arthur’s Town, Cat Island, who moved to Grand Bahama four decades ago, operates three successful entities inclusive of Pink Pearl Restaurant, Bootle Bay and serves as the treasurer of the association.
Desiring to positively contribute to youth and community development specifically in the Western District, association members have been working diligently to raise funds necessary to begin construction of the park, which is expected to cost approximately $200,000.00 to complete.
Initial groundwork has begun revealed Dean, who noted thanks to the assistance of several community-minded corporations the designated area for construction of the multi-purpose park has been cleared.
“Firstly, I want to thank the residents, members of the Bootle Bay Homecoming and Regatta Association and Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, who have banded together and supported the various fund-raising initiatives put forth to assist with getting the multi-purpose community park going.
“It is designed for the use of Bootle Bay residents and will be equipped with various features that is expected to have families engaged in fun, physical activities as well as provide economic stimulus and opportunities for those who reside in the community.
“For the past several months the Association and I have hosted cook-outs to raise funds to assist with the construction of the park and so far, we have raised approximately $4,000.00 with every cent used to get the work started,” Dean said.
Although Bootle Bay is a private subdivision, Dean and the association, which comprises Eric Darville (president); Phil Saunders (vice president); Patricia Bullard (assistant treasurer); Princess Rolle (secretary) and Roland Lewis (advisor) made it clear that not one of them stand to gain anything financially or otherwise from the establishment of the park,and they simply want to contribute to the growth and development of the community, hence each one is working on a strictly volunteer basis to ensure the goal/vision of the park is realized.
Furthermore, they noted that the park is for the people and is expected to prove beneficial in more aspects than one for the residents of Bootle Bay and surrounding communities.
“We met with MP Parker-Edgecombe ensuring that she was fully abreast of the vision we have for the designated park space inclusive of our hope that through its establishment better opportunities would be made available to help residents, particularly our youth.
“Based on the strategic design of the park, we look forward to hosting events that would attract tourists to the area and Bootle Bay residents would be afforded the opportunity to develop their own businesses, by way of booths being constructed for persons directly from the community to sell food and beverages; put on mini-fairs and other recreational events, allow for visitors to go one tours and visit the beach and for it to be established as a regatta site owned by the people, similar to regatta parks/sites in the Family Islands that help to stimulate the local economy.
“Again the park does not belong to myself nor any one individual, but the entire Bootle Bay community and the association with the support of the residents, at large, is keen on seeing the area develop and creating opportunities for themselves instead of sitting on their laurels waiting for a handout but rather forging their own path to success.
“We are grateful for the support we have already received from various members of the corporate community inclusive of ABC Construction Co. Ltd., A & C Heavy Equipment Co. Ltd., Z Evon Investments Co. Ltd., and others that have donated fill, building materials and allowed use of the heavy equipment to get the project started.
“The upcoming Grill and Chill is slated for Saturday, May 26 on the grounds of Pink Pearl Restaurant, Bootle Bay beginning at 12:00 p.m. and the menu includes grilled conch, ribs, chicken or pork, which will be served with baked macaroni, corn on the cob and a dinner roll.
“Beverages will be on sale, tickets are at a minimal and those supporting the event have the opportunity to win one of four prizes that includes a 42” flat screen television.
“Those visiting the Bootle Bay community can view firsthand the billboard that showcases the design of the park that will have restrooms, a basketball court, volleyball courts, playground with swing sets, jungle gym and seesaw sets, stalls, a lake and boardwalk to access the beach and more.
“Again, we are grateful to have the support of MP Parker-Edgecombe, who has vowed to lend her support and like us believes that this is just the beginning of even greater things to come for the West Grand Bahama community specifically Bootle Bay,” revealed Dean.
The Freeport News team spoke with Parker-Edgecombe regarding the plans that are underway for the Bootle Bay Multi-Purpose Community Park and she expressed profound delight that Dean and the Bootle Bay Homecoming and Regatta Association have sought to engage in an initiative such as this that would help not only those that reside in the subdivision but the western district by and large.
She encouraged the public to support the upcoming grill and chill and commended those who have and will continue to support the efforts of the Association, which simply seeks to help positively contribute to the growth and development of the community providing opportunities for the youth.
“Indeed we (Bahamas Government/Local Government) were very delighted when we were approached by Mr. Dean and members of the Bootle Bay Homecoming and Regatta Association, who indicated that they wish to establish a park and introduce a homecoming and regatta festival for the area.
“We realize that regattas are very good for us in the country and we have seen what they have done for various Family Islands like that of Exuma.
“Certainly, we are hopeful that by introducing this to the Bootle Bay community and by extension West Grand Bahama, we are able to spur economic growth. Of course, I must commend them for seeking to do so as private citizens and as the representative for West Grand Bahama and Bimini I have pledged my support.
“Definitely I seek to lend my support and assistance as best as we are able, to realize this goal and any time we have citizens coming forward with ideas and initiatives that we think would benefit our community, we are more than willing to be of assistance to them.
“The ultimate goal this year for the Bootle Bay Homecoming and Regatta Association, which I am advised with feature C-Class boats and is scheduled to take place in October is to establish a waterfront park that will be the future site of regattas for that area.
“We have seen this model throughout The Bahamas. It has proven very beneficial and I think it will do the same for the Bottle Bay community once it is properly supported. And yes, we do endorse the efforts of Dean and the association as well as we want to be able to assist them as best as we can, while keeping in mind that there are some procedures and processes that they are required to go through to ensure that what is proposed is done.
“Of course, once the association is compliant I do not see why other private citizens cannot come together and do their part to help in the building of the community,” declared MP Parker-Edgecombe.