Warm­ing room open at rink

Lou Jef­fries Re­cre­ation Cen­tre gets facelift

The Gananoque Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - LOR­RAINE PAYETTE

The Ro­tary Club of Gananoque got to­gether with Den­nis O’Con­nor and Mayor Erika Dem­chuk to ded­i­cate the new lobby and gen­eral facelift of the Lou Jef­fries Re­cre­ation Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 21.

“Isn’t this won­der­ful to have some nice com­fort­able chairs and ev­ery­thing for every­body to sit on?” said Mayor Dem­chuk. “There’s car­pet for the chil­dren to sit on and a TV if they’re get­ting bored wait­ing for oth­ers out on the ice. And for all those who don’t want to be cold and who want it to be ac­ces­si­ble, this won­der­ful warm­ing room. Now ev­ery­one doesn’t have to come to the arena and fight over the two win­dows that used to be here so that you could stay out here and watch the games. In­stead, they come out here.”

Terry Gilmer, Parks and Re­cre­ation Man­ager, started the ball rolling by want­ing to make some im­prove­ments.

How­ever, his bud­get cal­cu­la­tions showed there wasn’t quite enough money to make the warm­ing room hap­pen, which was a ma­jor part of the gen­eral plan.

“Coun­cil de­cided that maybe they should do it in two stages, be­cause the money just wasn’t there to do it and it was an im­por­tant part of the plan,” said Mayor Dem­chuk. “Thank­fully, the Ro­tary Club came along and said, you know, we re­ally need to have this and we would re­ally like to par­tic­i­pate in mak­ing it hap­pen with the Town. They do­nated $15,000 so that this won­der­ful warm­ing room could be com­pleted. With­out their gen­eros­ity and help, that wouldn’t have hap­pened.”

“Ro­tary is so pleased to have par­tic­i­pated in this Canada 150 project,” Emily Bell, Ro­tar­ian, said. “In the past, Ro­tary has led many com­mu­nity projects in Gananoque. How­ever, this project would not have hap­pened with­out the vi­sion of Den­nis O’Con­nor.”

O’Con­nor con­fronted Bell at the Home Show in the spring and told her about the planned ren­o­va­tions.

As a lo­cal en­trepreneur he ex­plained that they were “re­ally hop­ing to do this warm­ing room but ... ran out of money,” but he felt that with the sup­port of the Ro­tary Club it could be ac­com­plished. Bell was very ex­cited about the idea and pre­sented it to the Club, who im­me­di­ately got in step be­hind it.

“We are now here to of­fi­cially open the warm­ing room for the en­joy­ment, com­fort and plea­sure of the cit­i­zens of Gananoque and the Town­ship of Leeds and the Thousand Is­lands,” said Bell. “Ro­tary hopes that many peo­ple will en­joy this room for­many years ahead.”

In ad­di­tion to the open­ing, a spe­cial guest had come out to en­cour­age all of the lo­cal young peo­ple in the area to get out on the ice and have fun.

Katie Weather­ston, mem­ber of the gold medal win­ning ice hockey team at the Olympics in Turin in 2006, she makes a point of go­ing out to help kids feel in­spired and get them in­volved in skat­ing and hockey in par­tic­u­lar. She also helped Team Canada win gold in both 2003 and 2004 at the Air Canada Cup held in Ger­many. The chil­dren were de­lighted when she let them hold the Olympic torch, and her gold medal.

In ad­di­tion to the warm­ing room, there is a set of brand new bleach­ers which is also in a heated area but faces the ice so peo­ple can en­joy the games with­out be­com­ing too cold in the process.


The Ro­tary Club of Gananoque gets ready to cel­e­brate as they join in the ded­i­ca­tion of the new warm­ing room at the Lou Jef­fries Re­cre­ation Cen­tre in Gananoque on Oc­to­ber 21

On Oc­to­ber 21, the Ro­tary Club of Gananoque pre­sented $15,000 to the Town of Gananoque for use in com­plet­ing its new warm­ing room at the Lou Jef­fries Re­cre­ation Cen­tre


Mae Kench, 5, player for the Roy­als, was thrilled to get to hold the Olympic torch and touch a gold medal won by her new friend, KatieWeather­ston, at the 2006 Turin games.

The Ro­tary Club of Gananoque de­cided to test out the bleach­ers as they caught all the hot ac­tion on the ice

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