Dear Mike:
Congratulations to the “Kraft Celebration Tour” organizing committee, Fort Frances Curling Club, and to all the residents of the Town of Fort Frances (I have decided not to mention any names throughout my letter so as not to omit anyone).
The overwhelming support the organizing committee received from the entire community, both club members and non-members, was mind-boggling. I am very proud to call Fort Frances my home and look forward in continuing to raise my family, work, operate a business, and being an active community member.
Our local economy received a huge blow last year with Resolute’s announcement, but I have faith in our current town council and residents of Fort Frances to persevere and continue to work through it together, as we did during this contest.
Thank you to our committee for the countless hours spent—518,082 votes provide proof of your efforts and you all deserve a portion of the credit. Out of respect to Dryden, I have to give their committee a shout out for garnering 272,292 votes, which was more than all the other nine winners of the contest.
Unfortunately, you were up against a very strong and passionate Fort Frances group. This “Battle of Highway 502” goes to us.
After stepping down as president of the club this past spring after four years, to free up some time to pursue other opportunities this winter, my decision was made easy knowing and trusting the current board that is in place.
I am very proud to say I was president of the club during the installation of our geothermal heating and cooling system, and want to thank everyone who played a part in its installation, including previous boards, club members, and local businesses.
Also, thanks to the blood, sweat, and beers group for all their time during the install. We had a retired papermaker who worked harder that summer than he did during his 30 plus years in the mill.
The money received from this contest will assist the club, and I would like to provide readers with a background with our project. We were roughly $25,000 short in financing our portion of the project.
We tried to use the first year’s cost-savings and incur the shortage within our operating budget. Unfortunately, we had a 17-team/$30,000 decline in membership that season which left us strapped for cash.
Local businesses, including the Town of Fort Frances, have been very patient with us and we appreciate it.
Looking forward, I hope to see a growth in club membership so that we can continue as a self-sustaining entity. I ask that current club members continue to support your club by pursuing new memberships and promoting your facility.
With the new system in place, we are the largest air-conditioned building in the area (yes, in the summer we can air condition the ice surface area, so please consider us amongst others when planning your wedding or social event).
Next up for the curling club is the comedy night set for tomorrow under the big tent at the Sorting Gap Marina in conjunction the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. Please consider attending to show your support not only for the club, but also the bass tournament.
It will be a great night and celebration of this announcement.
The club also is running the first-annual “Sticks and Stones” bonspiel at the end of September, along with Kitchen Creek Golf Course. That’s golf and curling during the same weekend.
Start getting a team together.
Ron MacKinnon
Past president,
F.F. Curling Club