Warming room open at rink
Lou Jeffries Recreation Centre gets facelift
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