Rainy River Curling Club fundraising to pay for costly repairs to ice plant

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

Two required repairs in a short timespan has the Rainy River Curling Club appealing to the community for support.

Club vice-president Alicia Anderson says the required repairs caught them off guard when the season opened.

“At the start of the season it was found that our plant wasn’t running up to snuff,” she said. “It needed a lot of overdue repairs, they’d put a bandaid on things for the last few years and we ended up having a $6,500 bill just to get us up and running.”

The hope was this year would get off to a good start after COVID restrictions kept the club from being open to its full capacity.

“The club is self-sufficient, we don’t have any outside monetary assistance from anyone. COVID sort of killed us,” Anderson said. “We pretty much drained our bank account trying to pay bills during COVID with no money coming in.”

The initial required repair was completed and the season began.

“We ended up getting nine league teams for our league so we decided that we were going to do whatever it took to get up and running again and try to save the club,” Anderson said. “We curled for seven weeks. Then a couple of members came to start up junior curling for the evening and the plant was broken down and the ice was starting to melt. So we had someone come and look at it again and he quoted us another $7,200.”

With the previous repair already done, it was in for a penny in for a pound.

“We were already in it for $6,500 so we thought ‘we can’t let her go now.’ So it was down for just over two weeks.”

Repairs were completed over the weekend and now the club comes to the point of needing to pay for them and a fundraiser has been planned.

Tonight (Wednesday feb. 8) starting at 5 p.m. the club is hosting a ‘build a burger’ night with all kinds of toppings available for hamburgers as well as drinks and sides including fries, onion rings, mozza sticks and pickle chips.

“The club’s open every Thursday,” Anderson said. “From about 5 p.m. until close we have quite an extensive menu and the drinks are always cold.”

The club means a lot to the community of Rainy River with a lot of people involved.

“We’ve got a lot of young people coming out,” Anderson said. “I think after a long two years of COVID and not being able to socialize and stuff it’s brought back some community camaraderie. We’re quite a young committee, our parents have all curled here for a lot of years and I think we feel like it needs to keep going for future generations.”

The club also has a bonspiel coming up at the end of February and are looking to fill up a 12 team field with a few spots still open and there will be further fundraising efforts including a 50-50 draw to help reach the goal of $14,000 to pay for the repairs that were required this year.

“The club’s been around for so many years that we don’t want to see it die,” Anderson said. “Rainy (River) doesn’t have many things, to keep the club running that one place where people can come together is huge.”