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Volunteers a vital part of community centre

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Earlier this month the Central Corydon Community Centre, or C4, hosted a volunteer appreciation event to celebrate the countless hours that individuals donated this past year.


It was an opportunity for the community centre to give back to those who have given so selflessly of themselves.


Pat O’Connor, board president of Central Corydon, boasted that C4 has the best volunteer base in the city.


"Without the their support we couldn’t exist. With the recent amalgamation of Sir John Franklin, River Heights and Crescentwood community centres into one super centre, so much is going on and without the volunteers we wouldn’t be able to provide all of the programming our residents have come to count on."


With the three centres now being combined, volunteers are needed more than ever to ensure that much-needed and beloved programs continue.


Three volunteers who are ensuring their programs continue are Curtis Gottfredson (football), Doug Sharpe (soccer) and Paul Krestanowich (hockey).


Gottfredson has been the football convenor for two and a half years but has been involved with the community centre for over 10. His kids, now 14 and 11, were the catalyst for his involvement.


"I got involved to support my kids’ programs. I started off as a coach and then just moved up the different levels," he said.


By day, Gottfredson is a self-employed renovator who owns Norsemen Properties Inc. During football season, his volunteer commitment is equivalent to taking on a second full-time job. "It’s a lot of work but rewarding," he says. "Seeing the kids get better as the years go on is great to watch."


Sharpe volunteers his time to ensure young soccer players at C4 have a pitch to play on. "I have been convenor for seven years and coaching for 13," he says. "Like most volunteers I got involved because of my kids — three daughters who stared playing soccer as Tim Bits at age five."


The biggest challenge Sharpe faces is trying to find coaches, but it never ceases to amaze him at how selflessly people give their time, this coming from a man who is a sales manager for Otis and often works double time during registration season.


"It’s like working two-full time jobs but I just love it. I love trying to manage all of the different groups and teams. It becomes like trying to solve a giant puzzle."


Krestanowich has been a hockey convenor for three years and has shinny in his blood. He began coaching in 1985 while still in university and spent a past life as a referee and lineman in the American Hockey League. "


I just love making a difference in my community," he says. "With the amalgamation of the clubs, we need experience and knowledgeable leaders. Having been involved for over 20 years I am happy to be the guide for the next generation of volunteers."


As a financial planner with Holland Financial, Krestanowich is accustomed to putting in plans for the future and has applied those skills to his volunteer commitments by creating a hockey committee. The committee is working on a succession plan to develop up-and-coming coaches, managers and referees.


Local city councillor John Orlikow attended the C4 volunteer appreciation event.


"Volunteers are the lifeblood of a community centre. The more volunteers, the healthier the community," he said.


For those who want to get involved, there are plenty of opportunities.


"We need volunteers at the committee level to assist with different projects: programs, fundraising, facilities and communication," O’Connor said.


"It is a great way to get some experience and expand their resume while giving back. We have both short-term and long-term needs. Stay for a few months or sign up for a year-long project. Either way we want people to get involved."


For more information on opportunities contact programservices@centralcorydoncc.com, 204-488-7000 or visit www.centralcorydon.com


Carolyne Braid is a community correspondent for Crescentwood. You can reach her at carolyne@polefitcanada.ca.

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