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Martensville Tuff Run raises funds for new ice surface

Martensville Community Recreation Project (MCRP) volunteers are taking a run at a new way of raising funds for a second indoor ice surface.
The “2017 Tuff Run” is a family-oriented event slated for Sunday, August 27, according to MCRP President Jesse Reis. The goal is to add money to the gradually-increasing pot that will eventually go toward a new or expanded facility in the city.
“We put on about five fundraising events over the course of the year,” explained Reis. “Some are larger than others, but they all make a difference.
“This is the first time we’ve organized a family fun run, and hopefully it will become an annual event.”
The MCRP fundraisers collectively contribute between $60,000 and $70,000 every year to the overall account, said Reis. Continue reading “Martensville Tuff Run raises funds for new ice surface”

Martensville campaign for second ice surface hits stride

Novice-age players compete during a three-on-three hockey game at the Martensville Sports Centre on Wednesday, September 7. Funds raised during the tournament go toward the Martensville Community Recreation Project
Novice-age players compete during a three-on-three hockey game at the Martensville Sports Centre on Wednesday, September 7. Funds raised during the tournament go toward the Martensville Community Recreation Project

A grassroots community campaign to raise funds for a second ice surface and multi-purpose facility in Martensville is gathering momentum.
The Martensville Community Recreation Project (MCRP) is now in its third year. With over $100,000 in the kitty after two years of fundraising, organizers are hoping this year will once again see contributions double over the year before.
Jesse Reis, a member of the MCRP organizing committee, said the annual fall three-on-three hockey tournament which began August 28 and wraps up September 15 at the Martensville Sports Centre should boost the project’s bank account.
“It’s one of our major fundraisers for the year,” said Reis in an interview on Wednesday,, September 7. “We have over 350 people involved with age groups ranging from Novice to Midget. We’ve got teams from Martensville, Hepburn, Waldheim, Langham, Dalmeny, Saskatoon, Warman and all over.
“The rink is a busy place these days, with games starting about 4 o’clock and going till 10 o’clock every night.”
“The games are 45 minutes each, with no whistles. It’s just go, go, go. A lot of fun for the kids and spectators.”
Reis credited MCRP member Joe Garchinski with making the three-on-three tournament a success. This year, the tournament is being held in partnership with Dalmeny Minor Hockey, but next year it will be an all-Martensville project.
The MCRP hosts two other major fundraisers during the year, including a hockey draft night and a casino night. The casino night is slated for November 5 at the North Ridge Centennial Community Centre.
Reis said the MCRP estimates a new arena would run about $8 million, but added that’s just a ballpark figure because the design of the building is still in the preliminary stages. Costs will also be dependent on the amount of renovation needed to fit out the existing rink for year-round activities.
Reis said ultimately, the project is a partnership between the citizens, the city and, hopefully, private-sector sponsors.
“We have ideas about what it would look like,” said Reis. “But in the end it will be a civic facility and it will be up to city council to make that determination. Right now we have looked at a lot of options that we’ll bring to council after the election this fall, and hopefully the campaign will continue to grow.”
Reis said the buy-in from the community is encouraging.
“A lot of people are on-side with this,” said Reis. “I think there is a strong recognition that Martensville really needs a facility like this.”
Reis said currently, minor hockey programs rent ice in neighbouring communities, including Hepburn and Waldheim, because of a lack of ice in their hometown.
“If we had a second ice surface, that would really make a difference in terms of available ice time,” said Reis. “It would allow us to rent ice to outside groups, and we’d be in a much better position to host major tournaments as well.”
Reis noted that while minor hockey is one of the big users of the ice, the Martensville Skating Club is also growing.
“One of the things that’s really needed in the existing rink is a concrete floor, so that it can be used in the summer for popular sports like ball hockey,” said Reis.

Community Recreation Project gets backing of Martensville council

The Martensville Community Recreation Project (MCRP) has the support of Martensville City Council in its quest to build a second indoor ice surface facility.
MCRP spokesperson Jesse Reis outlined the group’s fundraising initiatives to Martensville City Council’s committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, May 12. Flanked by several other members of the MCRP executive, Reis said the group was formed a year ago by volunteers who want to not only add a second ice surface, but also renovate the existing facility to allow it to be used year-round for many different types of activities.
“We’re looking to form a partnership with the City of Martensville,” said Reis in his presentation to council. “We want to open up the lines of communication to share ideas, and move forward with a common goal and a common direction.”
Reis said the group hopes to mesh its fundraising activities with the city’s long-term plans for additional recreation facilities. He noted that user groups, including ringettte, minor hockey, and figure skating clubs are anxious to increase the availability of ice time for the growing numbers of kids involved in organized sports.
Martensville City Councilor Terry Kostyna applauded the group’s initiative, saying it is reminiscent of the volunteer efforts that went into building the existing indoor rink in the early 1980s.
“I can’t speak for the entire council,” said Kostyna. “I’m the fossil on council. I was around when we fundraised to build the first one. We did snowmobile trips and there was a group of volunteers who drove that campaign. We got it built, but I always regretted that we didn’t spend the extra money and get a concrete surface so it could be used year round.”
The MCRP raised $11,539.61 in its first-ever Playoff Draft earlier this fall, which saw 24 teams and 200 people at the event. Hundreds of dollars have also been donated by minor hockey teams toward the cause.
The City is exploring options in its 2017 budget for a second ice surface. Council agreed to work with the MCRP by appointing a councilor as a liaison person on the committee. The MCRP is organizing ongoing fundraising events. Its website is www.martensvillecrp.weebly.com .