Curling club needs help to stay afloat

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  • Jun. 14, 2011 5:00 a.m.

TREENA MIELKE/Rimbey Review

The Rimbey Curling Club is skating on thin ice financially and has approached town council to make them aware of their issues.

At its regular meeting last Wednesday, council listened to concerns expressed by club president Marj Tisdale.

“The Rimbey Curling Club has experienced losses during the past few years of operation. We are concerned that we will not be able to continue as a club in the near future and that the club will have to close unless we have support from the Town of Rimbey,” she said.

Tisdale said the club has been saved from a deficit this year by approximately $22,000 received for work done by volunteers at a two-day casino in January.

Prior to receiving the funding, the club had $4,000 in the bank, which was $2,000 short of funds needed to cover utility costs and liability insurance.

Tisdale told council the club has worked hard to pay their own way, increasing league fees, bonspiel fees and lounge drink costs during the last two years to help cover ever-increasing overhead costs.

She said utility costs have increased from $16,397 in 2008 to a projected cost of $22,000 in 2011. She added the club has established that there are two meters for both gas and power in the center, but they have not been able to determine what areas in the centre that the curling club actually paying for.

The fact that the front entrance door does not close properly during the winter may have also caused utility costs to skyrocket, she said.

Last year the club’s membership increased by 12 members and a junior league was started during the 2009-2010 season.

Club members have taken on various fundraising efforts during the past few years such as working bingos and casinos. Club members also sell raffle tickets, greenhouse vouchers and hold 50/50 draws to help with club costs.

Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson agreed the curling club is an integral part of the community centre.

“We will have to work on a solution,” he said. “They are an important part of our community.”

After the meeting, Coun. Gayle Rondeel said the issue will be dealt with at the recreation board level.

“The rec board will come up with a recommendation as to how to proceed, there are a couple of different options that we will look at.”