Brantwood rink’s super season

Image, right: Cindy Courtemanche and Mike Lemon are Brantwood Rink’s new Hosers of the Year. Photo by John Dance

Dedicated volunteers, four hard-working student attendants and real winter weather combined to give the Brantwood community rink one of the best years on record in 2012-13.

Despite seeing relatively short skating seasons in recent years, volunteers were able to open the rink on Christmas Day, earlier than usual, and kept it running until March 3.

Rink coordinator Cindy Courtemanche was selected one of two Hosers of the Year for meritorious work at the rink.

The award has gone out every year since 1996. Courtemanche joined her coordinator predecessors Don Pease and Don McCanse in the honoured role.

Mike Lemon, long-time volunteer at the rink, was the other Hoser of the Year for the season. Lemon, a long-time helper at the rink, was a key part of the team that established the superb base ice at the beginning of the season. He took extra flooding shifts just to ensure the ice was in good shape for the day’s skating.

The rink receives a small grant from the city’s outdoor rink program. This funding allows volunteers to hire attendants to supervise during operating hours.

This year’s attendants, Nathaniel Dewar, Marcus Kelly, Harrison Kelly, and Charlie Hadwick-Kelly, distinguished themselves with their snow-clearing following the season’s many snowfalls.

Another long-time contributor to the rink’s success was Mike Galazka, owner of Mike Galazka Service Centre on Main Street. Recognized as Hoser of the Year in 1997, Galazka has plowed big snowfalls from the rink for about two decades.

Thanks to his efforts, the massive and very heavy snowfall at the end of February was cleared to allow a few more days of skating.

In late fall, the city began a project to level the field where the rink is created. This work made creation of the base ice easier and helped to keep the ice from melting during warm spells in the season, as had happened previously.

This spring, the city will complete the leveling and  reseed the area.

The refurbished Brantwood Fieldhouse and new skate-changing room also contributed to the success of the rink, said Courtemanche.

The fieldhouse improvements, championed by the Ottawa East Community Activities Group, provided a vital new area of community activity.


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