The outdoor rink at Heffley Creek provides the community with an important recreation resource.  (KTW photo)

Fundraiser underway for Heffley Creek and Westsyde outdoor rinks

The communities of Heffley Creek, Vinsulla and McLure are stepping up to support the outdoor rink at Heffley Creek this winter. Over the years this rink has been a favourite in the area for outdoor skating and hockey enthusiasts, but continues to be an annual struggle to sustain and maintain it due to a severe lack of funding.

However, proponents of the rink say that this year the Kamloops Outdoor Skating Association have organized a fundraiser named ‘Skating is Good Medicine’, and they are working to achieve a $10,000 goal to be divided equally between the Heffley Creek and Westsyde outdoor rinks.

Direct donations from the North Kamloops Lions Club, Thompson Nicola Regional District Area ‘P’ Director Mel Rothenburger, and a Go Fund Me page have already raised almost $4,000 at the time of this writing. The communities involved continue working hard in gathering support for their outdoor rinks and hope that they will reach the goal so both can move forward.

The Go Fund Me page organizer, James Gordon, says, “We are the Kamloops Outdoor Skating Association (KOSA) and we think outdoor skating is amazing. It’s fun and affordable. It’s great exercise and good for your mental health. And it’s a way to spend time outside with friends and family. In short, it’s good medicine.”

He notes that the funds raised for the two rinks will go towards a number of items, including shovels, a snowblower, liability insurance for volunteers, pavement sealing, skating aids for kids, and hosting events to attract new volunteers.

“Our goal is to raise $5,000 for each association, and all money will go directly to them so they can manage it as they see fit, ” said Gordon, “With the prospect of Covid-19 being here all winter, outdoor rinks could be a beacon for kids, families and community members to come together to have fun, be active and create memories all winter. We hope people help us to maintain these valuable community assets so that more people can experience the joy and the benefits of outdoor skating.”

If you would like to donate, go to this initiative go to: Go Fund Me: Skating Is Good Medicine