During the past year, the Raise the Roof Committee has been making some adjustments and several improvements to our Community Rink. In the past, volunteers were the driving force for providing manual labour, both skilled and sincerely appreciated. Of late, most improvement projects have required more specialized and creative skill sets so the Township Facilities Manager has been orchestrating the execution of these tasks using funds raised by the Committee in conjunction with ongoing maintenance funds. The progress has been quite remarkable.
Many will recall that the rink project was established by the Township Council some 10 years ago with an unfunded budget of $900,000. Basically, get some volunteers, raise the funds and build a rink. In a phased approach of boards, slab, roof, storage area and ice resurfacer, the project has progressed very nicely and quite recently the money borrowed to complete the first five phases has been paid back as noted on our fund raising thermometer across from the General Store.
Funds continue to be raised so that additional improvements can be made to the arena. As you drive into the Community recreation area, the gravel parking area has been vastly improved, both in terms of room for vehicles and quality of surface. The drainage system has been modified to better channel the spring and heavy rain runoff from the high ground on the north side of the recreation area and away from the parking area.
As you approach the rink, many new items have been added to enhance the appeal of the facility. Before last year’s hockey tournament, two new change rooms were built on the north side of the rink. The one closest to the rink can also double as a concession stand for events being hosted on the rink. Of course, the Linwood scoreboard is a magnificent addition that is so much appreciated. On the south side of the rink, adjacent to the parking lot, new bleachers and several picnic tables have been installed for the viewing comfort of our guests. These are all tucked in under the roof so precipitation will not dampen spectator enthusiasm. On the north side of the rink adjacent to the change room, a raised platform has been constructed to provide a stage for entertainment events on the rink surface.
Up until recently, lighting for the rink has been a product of the original halogen lights that were used on the old rink before the new one was built. The installation of a new LED lighting array is providing an amazing improvement which is, of course, much brighter but can also be modified as required to suit the mood of whatever kind of event is being hosted. As part of the package, there are separate lights that illuminate the stage area specifically. A button at the North West end of the rink will provide an hour of lighting when the Township personnel is not present. And finally, a sound system has been incorporated that will not only provide a public address capability but will also receive input from devices such as phones or tablets.
All and all, the Calabogie rink is quite a spectacular facility that has been brought to you by some very generous and giving people of our community. One in particular who was instrumental in helping us complete this project was the late Dan O’Neill whom the Committee and Council have commemorated by renaming the rink the Dan O’Neill Memorial Arena.
“By your community, for your community” has been a very appropriate slogan for this project. Enjoy!
All of that said, the work of the Committee is not yet done, especially in terms of fund raising. There are still a number of enhancements that we would like to bring to the rink that will make it yet more awesome. The outstanding pledges that were collected over the years are coming to an end and that remaining income will certainly help with a few more improvements. In addition, we look forward to our traditional annual fund raising events, which are not only good for the budget but have been great fun as well. So, as we get through this COVID thing, you can expect to hear about Bogie Days, the Raise the Roof Golf Tournament, the Hockey Tournament and the Christmas Concert. Please stay tuned!
Looking for something fun and active to do this winter? Greater Madawaska has a pickle ball league! For more information please contact Teri McDonald, Committee & Managerial Assistant
Through the Champlain Community Care Access Center, there is a senior exercise Falls Prevention Program being offered twice a week in Calabogie from 8:30 - 9:30 am.