After a tough season of cancelled competition and lost income, the Airdrie Curling Club is hoping to strike gold this week in a daily online raffle put on by Curling Alberta.
According to Airdrie Curling Club Manager Don Delair, the club is participating in the provincial curling authority’s Share the Love With Your Club fundraiser, which includes a daily 50/50 draw. During the mixed-nationals curling championships from March 18 to 25, he said a portion of the net proceeds from tickets sold each day will go to one of Alberta’s curling clubs.
“It’s the same raffle [Curling Alberta] had for the Scotties and the Brier as well, but with the mixed-doubles, they’ve added a twist to it for this week only that some of the net proceeds will be going to the clubs that sign up,” Delair explained.
“It’s a big opportunity for us to raise some funds. Obviously, it was a pretty tough year this past year, so we’re looking forward to seeing some benefit from this.”
To buy tickets in the 50/50, visit airdrietoday.com/local-sports/airdrie-curling-club-participating-in-provincial-5050-raffle-3560514 or visit Airdrie Curling Club on Facebook.
Delair said the financial support would be helpful for Airdrie’s local curling club, as the recent curling season was cut short due to the pandemic. After the campaign kicked off in October 2020, he said curling competitions had to be shut down in November, amid a spike of COVID-19 cases province-wide.
“We made a decision back in August to start the season and we had about 85 per cent of our members come back,” Delair said. “We were super happy, but as time went on, there were more and more restrictions and we had to shut down six weeks into our season, which isn’t a lot.”
Amid the cancellation of competitions, Delair said the curling club still had operating expenses, such as utilities and keeping the ice running.
“We ended up shutting the ice down at that point, at about the end of February," he said. "Right now, we’re at the point of refunding a lot of our members based on our refund policy. It was a really tough year for the club and we’re obviously hoping the 2021-22 season will be much better.”
The mixed-doubles national championships are currently taking place at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary. The facility was also the “bubble” host for the national women’s and men’s curling championships earlier this winter.
Airdrie curling fans will see some local representation at the mixed-doubles national championships this week in the form of Aaron Sluchinski, who is representing Alberta alongside Calgary’s Brittany Tran. The pair is off to a solid start after winning their first match of the tournament, overcoming the New Brunswick representatives 7-3 on March 18.
“It’s great to see,” Delair said, of Sluchinski’s early success in the bonspiel. “I know there is some pretty stiff competition – a lot of the same players are in the bubble from the Scotties and the Briers. Aaron has had a lot of success in the mixed-doubles and is representing Alberta. We’re cheering for him.”
While the Airdrie Curling Club is closed for the season, Delair wanted to remind Airdronians the facility will still able to book meetings and small events, once indoor gatherings are permitted under Alberta Health guidelines.