In the quiet, small town of Lacolle, QC many retirees enjoy spending their time socializing and getting some exercise at Lacolle Curling Club. Unfortunately, the 67-year-old cooling system is ready for retirement too, putting the rink in desperate need of a replacement. Thankfully, when the club’s manager asked for help, a local farmer stepped up to help.
“It seemed like a shot in the dark, to tell you the truth,” said Gary Holzgang. “I was very surprised when we were chosen.”
Holzgang nominated the Lacolle Curling Club for Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities (CFGC), a program sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. CFGC allows farmers to nominate local non-
profits in an effort to strengthen small communities. And when his name was selected, the club’s fundraising efforts received a $2,500 boost.
“About half of the people who us the rink are corn farmers or dairy farmers,” said Holzgang. “Agriculture is a big part of the community.”
And so is the Lacolle Curling Club. It serves over 20 small communities, including Holzgang’s hometown of Noyan, and hosts over 70 adult daytime curlers. It’s currently the only sports-focused community centre in the area and has kept rates affordable so that everyone can have an opportunity to play.
“It seemed like a great way to keep it in the family, so to speak,“ said Holzgang, a member of the club. “We’re a tight-knit group.”
So far, the curling club has reached over half of its $120,000 goal needed to replace the cooling system, and Holzgang says he’s glad he was able to contribute.
“It’s a genuine offer and a really positive way to connect the ag community with the community at large,” said Holzgang. “I’ve seen what these grants can do for community initiatives.”