A key organizer at Southdale Community Centre says the facility needs the community’s help to grow and evolve as its catchment area continues to increase.
February 2012 marked the completion of a new $9.4 million expansion project at the centre (254 Lakewood Blvd.), which included a hockey arena, a recreational rink and changing rooms that were funded by three levels of government.
As part of the project, the centre needs to raise a total of $3.2 million, says Gayle Farkas, director of fundraising and communications at the centre, who previously served for seven years as a basketball convenor.
"The community has grown over the years, so we had to build a new arena, as we didn’t have enough ice," Farkas said, noting the facility now also serves the southeast Winnipeg communities of Island Lakes, Royalwood and Sage Creek.
"Bringing these four areas together represents one bigger community and we want to get back to our roots and bring the community together as one," she added, noting the centre will continue to hold various fundraisers in the future, including an event on New Year’s Eve 2013 for the first time.
The most immediate of these events will take place — in partnership with Canad Inns — on Sat., Feb 23 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Canad Inns Windsor Park. The Bud, Spud and Steak fundraiser will include a silent auction and tickets cost $15 per person. "Come out and have a good time," Farkas said.
"Community members can participate in the fundraisers or leave a legacy by contributing just $10 or $20 a month, or buy a brick or handprint, or even consider corporate sponsorship. There are many ways to help create a centre for the community to participate in," Farkas added.
She said the centre serves approximately 800 male and female hockey players from the Southdale area alone, as well as around 200 ringette players.
"I really think that sport benefits young people in life. It fosters friendships, team-building skills and, of course, important exercise. I think it’s essential that young people participate in sports, as it’s great for their health," Farkas said, noting the centre’s pleasure rink — a small surface rink geared to kids who are just starting to skate — is the only one of its kind in the province.
Tickets for the upcoming fundraiser are available at the centre’s administration office or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.