Flato donates $20,000 so Cameron-area school can purchase new playground equipment

By Roderick Benns

Wes Hahn, TLDSB Director of education. John Byrne, school trustee, Hillary Martland, school council chair, Shakir Rehmatullah, president of Flato, Jennifer Johnson, manager of parks, recreation and culture, Andy Letham, mayor, and Doug Elmslie, councillor. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Fenelon Township Public School principal, Greg Arkwright, says he was “shocked” when he got a phone call about three weeks ago from Flato Developments, letting him know his school was green lit for a big donation of $20,000 from the builder.

“I was amazed and thankful that a company like Flato is able to help us out,” said Arkwright. The school will be investing the money in new playground equipment.

“The students in our school will be able to play on this structure for years to come,” the principal said.

For Shakir Rehmatullah, the self-described community builder, this is part and parcel of how Flato responds to community needs wherever they’re building.

“At Flato we believe in supporting the communities where we build,” he told the Advocate at a media event held at the school. “School, of course, is a very important part of a community so we’re excited to support Fenelon Township school,” said Rehmatullah.

“I know the money is going to support the building of a new playground. The kids are going to enjoy that. I also have four little kids and when I see them playing, that’s a special thing. So I know the money is going in the right place and we’re excited to support the school in Cameron,” he said.

Councillor Doug Elmslie said the school’s playground is the only one in Cameron. “A lot of our rural areas, where there aren’t city amenities, count on school playgrounds, so this is just a wonderful thing. It’s great for the whole community.”

Mayor Andy Letham was also on hand at the event.

“You can’t lose when you’re investing in kids,” said the mayor. “They’re our future.”

Letham said this is a good example of what differentiates Flato from other builders who are just here to build.

“They’re showing they want to be a part of our community when they do things like this. As a municipality, we’re thrilled he (Rehmatullah) has chosen Kawartha Lakes and we look forward to working with Flato.

Arkwright said he heard Rehmatullah state many times that his company “builds communities, not homes.”

“He is definitely doing that in our school community. The staff and children of Fenelon Township Public School are so grateful that FLATO has helped us.”

Flato Developments has bought large parcels of land near  I.E. Weldon Secondary School – including a large swath of land north of Pigeon Lake Road. It’s there that Rehmatullah hopes to create a large community of homes and commercial buildings. He is also looking to build large estate homes in Cameron.

Flato recently gave a large donation to the Academy Theatre of $75,000 per year for 15 years. They’ve also made donations to Ross Memorial Hospital and Kawartha Lakes Food Source, among other community causes.

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