The community rink can be the heartbeat of small towns and villages.
Between some flooding issues, the rink in the Village of Marquis came into disrepair. However, over the past couple of years, the Marquis and Area Community Association and a number of volunteers in the community have come together to get the rink back up and running again.
Over the past two winters, volunteers were able to get ice in for skating as well as the concession opened up.
“There was a stretch where there wasn’t anything going on, but they got some (ice) in last year and it was a pretty good response to it,” said Moose Jaw and Area Community Association secretary/treasurer Lynda Thul. “The concession ran quite well last year, so hopefully it does again this year.”
Last summer, the community was able to repair a section of the roof over the kitchen and lounge area. Currently, a lot of work is being done inside the rink.
“We did a real clean, just to begin with, in the lounge and the kitchen/dining room and those areas. They’ve been working on trying to get the two bathrooms going in the skating area,” Thul said.
Volunteers are also working to clean up the storage areas, lines need to be painted on the ice, the boards need to be inspected for safety and work still needs to be done on the east side team benches.
This spring the plan is to paint the lounge. The community association is also hoping to fix up the second level that overlooks the rink. That area was the old kitchen but is not usable right now. The goal is to convert the second level into a games area or a space that can be rented out for activities.
There are plans for a spring work bee as well and volunteers will be needed to secure metal roofing over the curling rink.
The overall goal over the coming years is to complete major capital expenditure to revitalize the rink. This includes more roof repairs from the peak of the roof dome towards the kitchen and lounge area, which is a major repair to keep moisture out of the lounge area.
However, funding for the project is at a premium. On Feb. 8, from 4 to 8 p.m., the Marquis and Area Community Association is holding a rib night fundraiser at the Crushed Can in Moose Jaw to raise funds for the roof repairs. Tickets are $25 for a half-rib meal or $20 for a kids’ meal. Tickets are available at Marquis businesses, Past Times, at the door, or by calling Lynn Froehlich at 306-630-3284.
There is also still a need for volunteers to help with repairs. Anyone interested in volunteering can call Froehlich or Thul at 306-631-1535.