A toast to the youth of Rossland: Rotary Wine Fest supports skate park

Ethan Barnes
By Ethan Barnes
February 18th, 2010

Over the years, the Rossland Rotary club has been a supporter of many building projects around Rossland including ones centred around the pool, the museum, the Miners’ Hall, and Nickleplate Park. They are also very accommodating to the youth of Rossland with their Youth Exchange program, Adventures in Citizenship, Rotary Youth Leadership Award, RSS scholarship and the Interact Club. Now they are turning their attention toward the proposed skate park here in town.

“We were looking for a local project when the Skate park project initiatives were being renewed, and thought it was a good fit for our club.” said the Rotary’s Fiona Martin. “It will provide an opportunity for youth to be physically active and use their energy in a constructive manner, a place that visitors can use, that families can enjoy together. It is also a tourist attraction for people with children, or those older people who still enjoy skating or biking.”

On January 23, the Rossland Rotary Club hosted its 21st Annual Wine Festival, organized by Ms. Martin. The Wine Festival is one of the major fundraisers that the Rotary Club is involved in. The funds are used to support many different causes but one of their main focuses has been building projects. This year the proceeds are going to the skate park.

“It looks like we will be able to start off with about $7000 from that one event,” says Martin. “At this point we have committed to supporting fundraising efforts for two years. We hope that this, in combination with other funds–like grants or other groups sponsoring–will let Rosslanders have the best possible facility that will be good for all concerned and enhance our town.”

The Wine Festival is only the first in a long line of fundraisers that the Rossland Rotary has planned over the next two years. One fundraiser that is fast approaching is is the Mountain Ladies’ Extravaganza on May 8th, which consists of “a four course meal with a gear/outdoor activity auction, featuring special entertainment from a Castlegar Rotary group.” Tickets will go on sale in early April and it will be a ladies-only event.

Why skateboarding? Martin admits that none of the Rotarians have any past connections with skateboarding, at least not officially. “I’m sure there are some of the members who have tried it, some who wish they were young enough to do it, and some others that have families with children that may be able to take advantage of the facility in the future.”

Martin would especially like to thank the local businesses who supported the Wine Festival. “All of the Rossland businesses, and others from Trail and Castlegar, have been extremely generous with their donations and support for our Club. The merchants are constantly being asked for donations, and we are so appreciative of their contributions that make fundraising possible.

“We were very fortunate that Norm Worsfold volunteered to sing for the evening. His crooning was amazing and the crowd loved him! The Boomtown Garter Girls were expecting to dance with Rick Mercer, and when he didn’t show they still put on their incredible dancing show. We were very thankful for this. The wineries who attended said that the entertainment alone was worth coming for. Their donations of their products (wines) were the focus and highlight of the evening. Mountain Nugget chocolates was a great new addition to the evening. Don Vockeroth and the Powderhound staff are always wonderful supporters with ticket sales too!” 

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